Are There Four Types Of Smartphone User?

Are There Four Types Of Smartphone User?

A survey of 1,000 Australians by Optus suggests there are four main types of smartphone user: organisational freaks, work-obsessed professionals, social networking addicts and content creators. I strongly suspect that list isn’t long enough.

Pictures by Sam Pullara, Stan Dalone, deeuutee and Betsssssy

Here are Optus’ suggested (overly cute) names and the percentage of the Australian population the research estimates fall into that category:

  • The Zookeeper (34%): Use their phone to manage schedules and activities, often across an entire family.
  • The COP (Constantly Online Professional) (29%): Always contactable and often working in queues.
  • The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) (24%): Constantly using social networking apps to stay up to date.
  • The Social Creator (13%): Position themselves as experts by constantly using phone-based review apps and checking news.

I can think of at least three additions to that list:

  • The customiser: The whole point of having a fun is to tweak every setting into oblivion. Using either Android with a custom ROM or a jailbroken iPhone.
  • The games addict: Their phone is purely for playing games. Occasionally, it makes these confusing ringing noises.
  • The bewildered dumbphone user: Talked into shifting by their partner/children/salesperson, they’ve never quite seen the point and they’re annoyed at having to charge their device every single day.

Who would you add? Tell us in the comments.


  • The problem with the above names is that they imply that everyone is on a smartphone constantly. How about:

    The Normal Person – uses it to text and call people for the most part, also browses the internet or plays games and listens to music on their commute or when waiting to meet friends. Can put it down if required in order to talk to other people or watch a movie. Occasionally even leaves it in another room for hours at a time and doesn’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

  • i can add..

    The “in an emergency” of in optus talk the “cautious meerkat” – typical an older person but sometimes just the tech uuuuun savvy has a phone just “for emergency purposes”, often forgets to take it with them and it never has credit commonly also a bewildered dumbphone user. trust me those people exist.

    on a more serious note the fact that optus didnt even recognise the first too groups you mentioned angus points out whats wrong with their android ecosystem atm, optus are ridiculously behind the ball with android updates (as are all aussie telcos but optus is in focus here) the latest nexus is 2 updates behind they entire rest of the world, even americas notoriously slow telco released its update the other day, optus’s official word on the nexus update is “we are waiting for samsung to send it to us”, initiative taken by optus 0, this affects customisers because the latest os is usually the best as a kick off point and obviously the best to base a rom off (aus based roms are a thing) and ESPECIALLY in the galaxy nexus case it affects gamers because the 4.04 update fixes a bug that afflicts the nexus with multitouch not registering argh

    • I’ve only recieved one call in the 6+ years I’ve been with Optus, and it was from a polite man who went through some of my usage to check if I would benefit from any other products. Obviously I wasn’t interested in any additional stuff but I don’t see the big deal in getting a call. Also I have to wonder why you felt it was necessary to mention that the telemarketer was from India..

    • Do Not Call Register (DNCR) is your friend. And next time you get a call, tell them you no longer wish to receive unsolicited calls, as if you have an existing business relationship with them, they may still contact you even if you are on the DNCR

    • There’s a lot of Indian immigrants and children of Indian immigrants in Australia, you know. Maybe they’re Australian but they speak with an Indian accent. When I worked in a call centre in Melbourne, the lady sitting next to me had an accent and she was screamed at by ignorant, racist morons who just wanted to “talk to an Australian”, even though that’s exactly what they were doing.

  • What about hackers (in the true sense of the word). I just bought my phone as a toy. I run a customized version of the OS. Removed about 90% of the apps and replaced them with those that I’ve either written myself or are free software. At least some portion of the time my phone is completely unstable and / or can barely make a call, and pretty much after a month or two of complete stability I get bored and break it in a new way.

  • More totally made-up “research” swallowed by a site to get a brand name all over the start of a page. 4 types of obsessed smartphone user perhaps.

  • I am more of a “Convergence User”.

    A smartphone being a convergence device which converges multiple hardware devices into 1 hardware device (camera, phone, laptop, calculator, GPS navigator, diary/calendar/todo list, FM radio, mp3 player, video player).

    I use each part of my device ‘lightly’ but because there are so many individual devices in the 1 device I end up using the phone quite a lot.

    Today I used the camera, GPS nav, phone, calendar, browser, mp3 player. I use each feature ‘lightly’ but because I use all the features I tend to be a heavy user.

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