SwiftKey

Remember back in June when SwiftKey had a contest with Mobile Nations that offered three tablets as prizes to survey takers? The results are in, and some of the data looks pretty interesting. 

Granted, the sample size and demographic make these results a bit skewed compared to a survey given at a grocery store, or even a carrier store (you folks are smart and opinionated), but it's nice to peer into the collective mind that is the Mobile Nations Borg reader base. 

What's most interesting is the changes from just a year ago. It's pretty cool to see what you guys think, and how it changes. Hit the jump and have a look.

General demographics

There's some cool data here, that both confirms stereotypes as well as rebuke them. Remember, these questions were asked of folks who already have shown interest in at least one brand of smartphone, and the results are bound to show some favoritism and brand loyalty.

In other words, this data is what you made it. We agree with most of it though, as it mirrors what we hear every day from you fine folks. There are some hidden nuggets of insight buried down in there, let's have a look at a few -- these all come as direct quotes from SwiftKey's reports.

Who likes their phones best?

  • British people like their phones very slightly more than US people, 33.0% in the UK say their phone overall is “excellent”, vs 31.1% in the US.
  • Apple users are most likely to rate their phone as excellent – 45.6% vs 29.8% of Android users and 26.6% of Blackberry users.
  • Men  are more happy with their phones than women – 30.3% calling their phone excellent (vs 29.0%)

Who spends the most time on their phones?

  • People from the US spend more time on their phones than those from the UK, 86.9% (vs 72.3%) spend over an hour a day on their phones.
  • Android users spend the most time on their phones – 85.2% spend over an hour a day on their phones, vs 82.4% of Blackberry users and 81.8% of Apple users.

Who spends most time typing on their phones?

  • People from the US spend more time typing on their phones than those from the UK – 38.1% spend over an hour a day typing on their phones, vs 22.9% of Brits.
  • Blackberry users do the most typing, despite spending less time on their phones overall than Android users. 51.6% of Blackberry users spend over an hour a day typing, vs 34.3% of  Apple users and 33.7% of Android users.
  • Younger people spend the longest typing on their phones – the proportion who spend over an hour a day typing decreases steadily from 44.3% of those 24 and under down to 14.1% for people aged 55+.

Who has the most free apps?

  • 62.1% of people from the US have 21+ free apps on their phone, vs 53.7% of those from the UK
  • Android users have the most free apps – 66.0% have over 20, vs 53.8% of Apple users and 15.5% of Blackberry users
  • The $100k - $150k household income bracket have the most free apps (66.5% have over 20) and the “under $25k” income bracket have the fewest (57.4%).

Who has the most paid apps

  • People in the US have the most paid apps – 17.9% have 21+ (vs 15.6% in the UK)
  • 25.8% of Apple users have over 20 paid apps, vs 18.8% of Android users and 3.5% of Blackberry users
  • Men are twice as likely to have more than 20 paid apps as women, 18.4% vs 9.4%
  • The 35-44 age range has the most paid apps, with 21.2% having 21+. Only 13.0% of the 24-and-under age range has as many
  • 21.8% of people earning $100-150k have over 20 paid apps, compared to 14.1% of those whose household income is under $25k.

Who has a tablet?

  • 54.6% of smartphone users in the US have a tablet, vs 36,5% of those in the UK (who answered our survey)
  • Blackberry users are most likely to have a tablet – 68.9%, vs 55.8% of Apple users and 46.4% of Android users

Smartphones 2011 vs 2012

The 2011 survey had 32,572 responses, of which 31,192 had smartphones. The 2012 survey had 17,980 responses, of which 17,506 had smartphones.

The 2012 survey was more Android-heavy.

Users’ opinions of their phones have in general gone down. In 2011 79% rated their phone overall as “very good” or “excellent”, vs only 72% in 2012.

Rating the ability to type easily on the phone’s default keyboard has decreased the most, with 45% saying it was “very good” or “excellent” in 2011, and only 28% saying the same now.

In both years the worst-rated aspect of the phone is the battery life. Only ease of use was rated higher in 2012 than in 2011.

In 2011 80% of people said that they made voice calls at least once a day. In 2012 this has dropped to 65%. 

In 2011 Apple users had slightly more free apps than Android users (61% Apple and 56% Android had 21+ free apps), by 2012 this position had reversed. (66% Android and 54% Apple had 21+ apps) . Blackberry users had very few free apps in 2011, and have not shown any change in 2012.

In 2011 Apple users had significantly more paid apps than Android users – 39% of Apple users had 21+ paid apps, vs only 10% of Android users. In 2012 the gap is lessening, with Apple users being less likely to have a large number of paid apps (26%) and Android users more likely (19%). 

Tablets 2011 vs 2012

The 2011 survey had 32,572 responses, of which 8,050 had tablets. The 2012 survey had 17,980 responses, of which 8,989 had tablets.

In 2012 the proportion of people owning just a tablet and no smartphone has remained the same, but the number of people owning a tablet as well as a smartphone has more than doubled - from 23% to 48%.

In 2011 very few respondents had tablets made by Blackberry/RIM. In 2012 this had risen to 15%. Android tablets had also increased, from 56% to 63%, taking away from Apple’s iPad, which had shrunk from 43% to 22%.

When asked “how often do you do the following on your tablet?” users in 2012 were less likely to say that they did all of the listed activities once or more every day. This may indicate a shift from tablets being only for early-adopting tech fans to there being more casual tablet users.

The one activity users were more likely to engage in on a daily basis was taking photos (newer tablets are more likely to have cameras) but this is still quite rare.

In 2011 Apple users had slightly more free apps on their tablets than Android users. In 2012 both Apple and Android users had a similar number to Apple in 2011.

There were very few RIM/Blackberry tablets in our 2011 sample. In 2012, users with Blackberry tablets have significantly fewer apps on their tablets than either Android or Apple users.

In 2011 Apple users had were much more likely to have a large number of paid apps than Android users. In 2012 the two are much more similar – Android users are more likely to have a large number of apps, and Apple users are more likely than before to have a small number of paid apps (or none at all). As with free apps, in 2012 Blackberry users have fewer paid apps than Android or Apple users, most likely reflecting the different app availability.