Australia is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to smartphone use

Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Australians really do love their smartphones, using them even while watching other media and keeping them in hand at all times while in the office.

According to Deloitte’s 2018 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report, Australia will exceed global trends, with smartphone penetration in Australia expected to surpass 90% by the end of 2018 while the rest of the world will take until 2023.

At the same time Australians worry they use their phones too much.

Deloitte forecasts that Australia is also likely to surpass the global prediction that 45% of adult smartphone users will worry they are using their phones too much. In Australia, 41% are already at this point.

“For Australians 2018 will be about how smartphones are used,” says Kimberly Chang, Deloitte Australia’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications leader.

“With invisible innovations such as Artificial intelligence (AI) chips likely to become standard across smartphones by 2023 and with better batteries and connectivity, we expect to see an increase in smartphone uses, including to interact with IoT (internet of everything) devices and completing work-flow activities such as expenses and time sheets.”

The young worry the most about their smartphone usage.

Source: Deloitte

In the global study, Delotte finds that nearly two-thirds of 18 to 24 year olds feel they are using their devices too much.

But most adults are happy with their phones even if they do check the devices constantly. Deloitte estimates those actually addicted to their phones is very low, probably less than 3%.

At the same time, data usage is skyrocketing in Australia.

While the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported that data consumption grew 43% in the year to June 2017, the Deloitte study finds almost half of Australians regularly exceed monthly mobile data limits.

“In the short-term we expect to see telcos reducing broadband prices, removing the incentive to go mobile-only,” says Chang.

“In the longer-term however, a population powered by mobile data is a real possibility as unlimited mobile data plans enter and compete in the market.

“And with 5G capability expected to be demonstrated by Telstra at the Commonwealth Games later this year and new technology such as mm-wave coming into play, fixed wireless may also become a viable alternative to broadband connections in some areas, most likely where there is a lack of fibre connectivity.”