Even someone that loves their smartphone will admit displays still have room for improvement. Apical Ltd., provider of advanced imaging technology to manufacturers of smartphones and other devices, unveiled the results of its annual smartphone survey. The study illuminated some surprising data about how consumers engage with their smartphone as well as demonstrating continued smartphone display functionality issues.
Key findings include that consumers still find it necessary to manually adjust the brightness on their smartphone displays; females are more likely to edit and share photos and videos on social media channels than men; and a minority of respondents ever watch their smartphone videos again. The survey findings reinforce the need for device manufacturers to improve smartphone displays and battery life, as well as advance the quality and functionality of videos taken on smartphones.
This year, the survey specifically looked at the taking of personal videos via the smartphone camera and what happens to the videos after they are recorded. Only 13 percent of smartphone owners reported that they have never taken a video.
However, the most surprising result of the survey was that of only 35 percent of smartphone owners watch the videos they have taken again. Even amongst 15-24 year olds, this figure only rises to just over half (51 percent) and of those aged 35+ only 28 percent watch their videos again. Videos taken on smartphones are shared in a variety of ways with significant gender preferences. Whilst 18 percent of smartphone owners upload videos to a social network such as Facebook or Twitter, females aged 15-34 disproportionately share videos via social media channels.
32 percent of 15-34 year old women share videos taken on their smartphone via social media, with only 20 percent of males in the same age doing so. 17 percent of the smartphone owners share videos via email and 12 percent via instant messaging such as iMessage or WhatsApp, but instant messaging is a young person's mechanism with 21 percent of those aged 15-34 utilizing these tools compared with only 5 percent of those aged 35+.
Most interestingly, it appears editing and storing of videos are not popular smartphone activities among consumers. Only 5 percent store videos in the cloud, 3 percent edit the content, 3 percent add music and only 2 percent send to a video sharing site such as YouTube.
When asked whether or not they adjust the brightness on their smartphone and for what reasons, 69 percent of the 15-24 demographic said they do so for reasons of power saving; displaying images or text better; or adapting to low light conditions. This is a similar situation to 2013's survey, where 66 percent of 15-24 year old smartphone owners claimed to have adjusted the brightness of their mobile phone screens.
Across all age groups, from 15-65+, at least 40 percent of smartphone owners reported having changed the brightness of their smartphone displays for the above reasons. The Apical survey implemented by Ipsos MORI has again highlighted the impact of displays on smartphone power, with 46 percent of 15-24 year olds adjusting brightness to save power. 90 percent of this age group and 63 percent of the total population now owns a smartphone, reinforcing the need for continued improvement in smartphone display.
As in last year's survey, the top three smartphone activities—in addition to calling or texting—remain accessing social media channels (48 percent), editing and viewing photos (27 percent) and accessing navigational information, such as maps (25 percent).
Interestingly, females over 35 are significantly more likely to view and edit photos (37 percent) than their male counterparts (12 percent), who are more likely to be looking at maps (36 percent versus 25 percent females).
Movie-watching is dominated by the younger age groups. 14 percent of males aged 15-34 use their smartphones to watch movies compared to 3 percent of males 35+. This is similar for watching video clips on channels including YouTube; for example, 33 percent of females aged 15-34 watch these types of video on their smartphone versus only 9 percent of females 35+.
Michael Tusch, CEO OF Apical, said, "I derive from the results on manual brightness control that traditional methods for display power management do not provide a satisfactory user experience and more attention to power sensitive display technologies are needed.
"That only 35 percent of smartphone owners view the videos they have taken again is surprising. The reasons for this are easily understandable in my view. First, capturing good video on a phone is not easy, and much of the video captured is simply not very interesting. And second, even those great videos are hard to find once taken; memory is likely full of videos with opaque filenames, and searching for them requires watching each one. Intelligent camera technology already exists, which can automatically compose video to improve quality and automatically indexes who's in the video at the time of capture rendering easily searchable videos. Such technology will lead to an inflection in the use of video as a personal, social medium."
On behalf of Apical, Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 987 adults across Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) aged 15 and over. The study was conducted alongside the Tech Tracker survey. Interviews were conducted via CAPIBUS between 7th and 14th November 2014. Survey data was weighted to the known nationally representative profile and tables are provided with 95 percent confidence level according to marketing and social research standards.
About Apical Ltd.
Apical is the leader in advanced imaging and video processing technology. The company's products are derived from original research into the human visual system and are designed to maximize the performance of a wide range of image capture and display devices. Apical works primarily with OEMs and semiconductor manufacturers for whom imaging capture and display are critical components. Apical is a privately-held company based in the U.K. For more information, visit www.apical.co.uk.