SmartMoney Blogs

Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

Google Struggles To Get Hip To Smartphone Users

The release of this Google marketing survey on smartphone users probably doesn’t come at the best time given the ongoing cell phone tracking affair, which will soon be winding its way to Washington. And privacy advocates might bristle at its title: “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users.” Alarmed? You shouldn’t be.

Getty Images

What’s revealing about the study by Google and Ipsos OTX, a market research firm, which interviewed 5,013 adult smartphone Internet users, rather than track them, is how little it actually reveals. For instance, 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search.

It raises a chilling possibility: maybe we law-abiding citizens are not all that interesting to begin with. This might come as a relief after all the scary headlines about being tracked when we go shopping and go home. Speaking of which, the survey says that 93% of smart phone owners use their devices … at home!

To be fair, a Google spokesman points out that the survey is merely a taster ahead of a “webinar” on Wednesday, which will further reveal that 27% of smartphone users make purchases through mobile websites. (As opposed to using an app or making a phone call to buy stuff.) “I think that’s kind of cool,” he says.

According to the Google Mobile Ads Blog, “Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media.” It says 72% use smartphones while consuming other media, with a third while watching television. Yes, folks. Smartphone users multi-task too.

There was, however, a more offbeat computer survey recently carried out by Hunch.com based on 388,315 of that site’s users. This time, it attempted to build up a personality profile of those oft-documented differences between Mac and PC users. It concluded: only 36% of PC users believe they are liberal, while 58% of Mac users are liberal.

It also painted a stereotypical picture of Pepsi Cola-drinking, Hero-eating PC users as mainstream and San Pellegrino Limonata-drinking, hummus-loving Mac users as hip. Hunch said 74% of PC owners were more likely to prefer mainstream Hollywood movies, while 95% of Mac owners prefer Independent films.

Market researchers, take note. Pay Dirt readers, is the survey uninteresting or are we?


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (1 of 1)

View all Comments »
    • How much is a HTC EVO 4G from sprint with a 2yr contract? I am almost certain I have seen this series of celebrity masterchef before – I definately knew who was going to win- but it says in yesterday’s newspaper about the ’2009′ winner. Am I going nuts? Please help!.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.