The “Trends in Consumer Mobility Report 2014” from Bank of America finds that Americans see their smartphone as “an indispensable companion.” In terms of importance to their daily life, 91% of respondents overall rank their mobile/smartphone as most important, tying with their car and deodorant, and surpassed only by their toothbrush (95%) and the Internet in general (93%). Coffee was near the bottom the list (60%).
However, when it comes to age groups, the youngest Millennials (ages 18 to 24) view their smartphone as the most important part of their daily lives (96%), while the Internet (88%), deodorant (90%) and their toothbrush (93%) were deemed as slightly less important.
This strong connection to their smartphones has turned many Americans into compulsive checkers, according to the survey. A majority of respondents (85%) check their smartphone several times a day and 35% say they check it constantly, with only 13% saying they hardly ever check it. In terms of how long they could last without their smartphone, only 16% of respondents say they could survive without it indefinitely. About one-third (34%) say they could survive 24 hours, 28% say they could survive week, and 13% say they could survive less than an hour without their smartphone.
If their smartphone were lost or stolen, the top five concerns that respondents would have include: loss of identity and security information (79%); loss of contact information (79%); loss of photos and videos (72%); not being able to connect with family and friends while awaiting a replacement phone (68%); and missing an important call (68%).
As to what respondents would be willing to give up to have their phones returned to them, 45% would give up alcohol, 34% would give up chocolate, 22% would give up shopping and 16% would forego watching television or movies. Women were less likely than men, however, to say they would give up chocolate in order to have their phone returned to them (27% vs. 42%).
Asked about others’ mobile phone habits, checking the phone while driving was most annoying to 38% of respondents, 15% each said sharing too much information about themselves via the phone and discussing personal information loudly in public were the most annoying habits, 12% cited checking the phone in the middle of an in-person conversation, and 7% selected checking the phone during a meal.
Braun Research conducted the survey, on behalf of Bank of America, between May 6 and 23, via telephone with 1,000 U.S. adults who were older than 18, had a checking or savings account, and owned a smartphone. The survey also explored banking behaviors, seeking to explain the how, when and why consumers are using their mobile devices to manage their finances. The survey report is here.