Mobile Phone Internet & Camera Usage – Survey (Part 1 of 2)

I had an idea a few of weeks ago for a web / mobile application when I had a quiet afternoon. Rather than leave it in the idea pile, I thought I’d test the waters and see if there might be any demand; so I put together a simple survey to find out how people use their mobile phones. Here are the results.

I’ve decided to split the findings into two parts due to their length. This first part gives details of peoples’ use of the cameras on their mobile phones, the second part  details their use of the Internet on their mobiles.

152 people were good enough to give me a couple of minutes of their time, and this is what they had to say for themselves:

Where did you hear about this survey?

Sources were mainly from blog posts, with Twitter also figuring highly. Other sources included some people I emailed, friends on Facebook and some respondents from IGO People. In general, the sample is of people who are technically aware, and many are early adopters (see Twitter usage further on). This introduces some bias into the survey, as I wouldn’t regard the sample as being representative of the general population.

Age Profile

Respondents were concentrated around the 25-44 years old age groups, with 82% falling within these groups. The high proportion within this age group is due to the way the survey was promoted.

Age Profile

Does your mobile phone have a camera?

In the last number of years, cameras have become almost a standard on mobiles, so over 96% answering Yes was unsurprising.

How regularly do you use the camera on your phone?

I was surprised by how often people use the camera on their phone, with 47% of people using  it “Several times a day”, “About once a day”, and “More than once a week”. I would have expected the number of those using it only on special occasions to be higher than the 24% found.

Frequency of Camera Use

What do you usually do with photos you take with your phone?

41% of people upload their photos to the web (either by first transferring them to their computer, or directly from their phone). This bodes well for photo sharing sites like, Flickr. Another explanation for this finding could be the emergence of photo sharing services like TwitPic which allow photos to be shared easily using Twitter (there are a significant number of Twitter users in the sample).

Camera Usage

Over 23% of respondents usually keep their photos on their phone. Given the sentimental value with which people used to view photos, I found that a little surprising – do people attach less value to digital images, or is it a lack of knowledge on how to back-up photos from their phone that lead to this?

Have you ever used your phone to take pictures of:

Over 3/4 of respondents have taken pictures of each of the people at an event (which I would have expected), scenery & locations (again, as expected). I hadn’t anticipated such a high number of people taking pictures of “an item they wanted to remember” (I’ve done this in the past and had people look at me strangely!). I’m curious as to what the 6.7% who haven’t taken pictures of any of these things have taken pictures of. Perhaps animals?!

Mobile Pictures of

The second part of the survey results, which deals with people’s use of the Internet on their mobile phones, is in a separate post.

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