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iPhone delivers high usage for photos, music and video

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, March – August 2016, sample n = 10,145 Australian smartphone owners aged 14+

Upgrades in the new iPhone 7 launched last week focus on the handset’s entertainment value: a brighter and more colourful screen, dual speakers for stereo sound, more storage to save videos and music, and a better camera for taking photos, videos and making FaceTime video calls. And as Roy Morgan Research shows, Apple’s users are indeed more likely to use their device for personal entertainment.

Almost half of Australia’s 16 million smartphone owners are using an Apple iPhone. These iPhone owners were much more likely than others to use the handset as a camera or for playing videos and music in an average four weeks in the year to June 2016.

Aside from making phone calls and sending text messages, taking photos is the most common smartphone activity among iPhone and non-iPhone users alike. 85% of iPhone owners take photos on the device, compared with 77% of those with a different brand of smartphone.  

The camera is also more popular among iPhone owners when it comes to taking videos (41%, compared with 31% of others) and making video calls (23% vs 12%).

The iPhone is also more likely to be used as a personal entertainment device by owners: 51% use it to play music (vs 35%), 32% to play videos (vs 25%), and 18% to listen to the radio (vs 13%).

Handset usage of smartphone owners

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, March – August 2016, sample n = 10,145 Australian smartphone owners aged 14+

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Every smartphone has a camera, and can play music and videos. However not every owner wants all the bells and whistles. Some may want it to do a few things well, and others need it to be the best at one particular function. Some just want a phone.

“By fully understanding the usage habits of their users, handset makers can pinpoint which areas of product development will deliver the greatest ROI, and which new or enhanced functions will deliver real points of difference in the market. 

“With the new iPhone 7, Apple knows that photo, music and video functions are very important to its target customers—as well as water resistance and speed. The removal of the headphone jack, however, is clearly about using a leadership position to change behaviour, not accommodate it—which will, once again, impact on the massive mobile phone accessories market.

“Although bundled here as a ‘non-iPhone’ group, each handset has a different usage profile. Streaming radio is most common among LG and Sony smartphone owners, while HTC and Huawei users score high for global roaming, and Samsung users have been much quicker than average to adopt the ‘tap and pay’ function.

”All handset makers—and service providers, retailers, and accessories manufacturers—need to understand their target markets and the trends in mobile phone usage among different segments. While Apple users tend to be younger, more tech savvy and more interested in accessing music and video on-the-go, there’s plenty of Australians wanting handset for other reasons.

“The new Roy Morgan Audiences tool can measure and profile mobile audiences by their handset brand, model, and operating system. Handset brands can therefore monitor the reach and engagement of their own websites and digital media advertising campaigns among their current users, and users of competitors’ devices.” 

For comments or more information please contact:
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%