How People Use The iPhone

In the early Internet days, the best way to figure out where the money was going to be was to look at how people used the medium.

Right off the bat, people spent a huge amount of time online searching for other stuff online.  And, lo and behold, look where the money is today (search).

So one key question for those trying to figure out where the mobile world is going is to understand how people use iPhones and other smartphones with full Internet and app capability.

A few things jump out:

  • Overall gadget use time is much higher (versus traditional cell phones)
  • “Voice” has become far less important as a share of overall use time
  • Internet has become far more important
  • Email has remained very important

Beyond that, however, it’s hard to get good data.

In Morgan Stanley’s new Mobile Internet Report, the analysts have taken a crack at estimating how people use iPhones.  The numbers don’t jibe with our personal iPhone usage habits (we’re much higher on email and Internet, much lower on voice, and much higher on overall usage).  They also don’t break out App usage, which would be very helpful to know.  But they’re a good starting point.

The SAI community provides an excellent cross-section of iPhone and smartphone users, so we’re going to take a stab at crowdsourcing this one a bit (more later).  In the meantime, here are Morgan Stanley’s estimates for what people do with the iPhone.  Feel free to enter your own reactions to the data in the comments below.

Traditional cell phone usage chart on the left.  Morgan Stanley estimates of iPhone usage on the right.

iPhone Usage Estimates

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