Very few Americans use their smartphone to its full capacity. Everyone instinctively knows that, but now Harris Interactive has conducted a poll to quantify just how few are taking advantage of some capabilities.
A full 40 percent of U.S. adults with smartphones have never scanned their phone for any reason. Only 5 percent have used their phone instead of a paper movie or airline ticket. Even fewer (3 percent) have used it to pay for clothing, electronics, or coffee or similar quick convenience. The most common category of reasons for scanning a phone was “something else,” which would include membership cards, loyalty programs and coupons, and that was only named by 7 percent.
There is some difference in these percentages when broken down by age group, but not as much as some would expect. Looking at those who said they’ve never scanned their phone, for example, shows that 41 percent between 18 and 35 chose that reply. It was also chosen by 40 percent of those in the 36-47 age group, 43 percent in the 48-66 group, and 35 percent of those aged 67 or older. (See chart, below.)
More age differences emerge when the questions are about comfort level rather than specific experiences. That’s when the common assumptions start to prove true: people comfortable with these phone functions unrelated to telecommunication tend to skew younger and more male than female.
Looking forward, 30 percent of respondents said smartphones will never take the place of physical cash for a majority of purchases. Of those that do think it will happen, women are more likely than men to say this will be the case in less than three years (20 percent versus 13 percent), while men believe it will take ten years or longer (17 percent versus 12 percent).
More details of this Harris Poll are available here.