Despite often getting new models months after the rest of the world, turns out Australians still really, really like their smartphones. Research by Google suggests that we're one of seven countries in the world where more than 50 per cent of the population uses smartphones. That puts us alongside the UK, Sweden, Norway, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. More significantly, it puts us ahead of the US, where the penetration rate for smartphones is above 40 per cent.
In Australia, where Google surveyed 1,000 people, 52 per cent of us own a smartphone, which is up 15 per cent since the beginning of 2011. That said, some of the other notable statistics for Australian smartphone users don't all quite gel. For instance, 74 per cent of us don't leave home without our device, but only 58 per cent of us used our phone every day. Clearly the idea of not using phones when meeting others has gone out the window: 61 per cent of us have used our phones at restaurants and social gatherings. And the average Aussie has 27 apps installed, but just seven of those are paid for.
Obviously, Google conducted this research to try and persuade businesses to advertise using its mobile products. For me, it serves as a reminder to phone manufacturers that Australia shouldn't be a marketing afterthought; we clearly like this stuff.
There's also still obviously room for improvement. The chart above shows what proportion of smartphone owners are satisfied with how web browsing works on their device. More than half the smartphone owners surveyed didn't describe themselves as satisfied.