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Everybody’s Doing It: How People Use Their Smartphones

Smartphones owners can’t keep their content on their phone, a Parks Associates survey of broadband households found.

Thirty-five percent of smartphone owners stream music to speakers, and 24 percent stream video to a second screen, such as a TV or PC, Parks said.

The survey also found that:

–26 percent use a payment app to purchase products at retail;

–almost 40 percent use their phone’s voice-recognition function, but the percentage among iPhone users is higher at more than 50 percent;

–more than 70 percent watch short streaming video clips;

–more than 40 percent watch long streaming videos; and

–36 percent use Wi-Fi calling.

Carrier programs: Parks also found that, among carriers, T-Mobile leads in enrollment for early upgrade programs. Almost a third of T-Mobile subscribers

are enrolled in the company’s early handset upgrade program, with AT&T placing second with more than a fourth of its customers enrolled.

Fewer phone users than ever have service contracts, Parks also found. U.S. carriers started to do away with two-year contracts in 2012, and by the third quarter of 2015, only 51 percent of mobile users had a contract, down from almost 70 percent at the end 2011, Parks said.

Ownership: Separately, Parks said Samsung is beginning to catch up to Apple in the share of smartphones in use in the U.S. At the end of 2015, 49 percent of smartphone users had an iPhone, while 31 percent owned a Samsung. LG placed third with 10 percent.

“Apple remains the dominant smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., but Samsung is catching up,” said Harry Wang, Parks director of health and mobile product research.

The research also shows a third of iPhone owners have a model that is more than two years old, while 30 percent of Samsung phone owners do. Forty-five percent of all U.S. broadband households wait two years to upgrade their smartphone, Parks said.