Pinoys lead the world in use of phone features

RP-PONS
By Melvin G. Calimag – A new report by global market research firm Synovate has found that Filipinos lead the way in the use of many mobile features among 11 countries covered by the survey.

Aside from being the world’s heaviest senders of SMS or text messages, Filipinos can now claim another title in the mobile space: Most savvy users of a mobile phone.

In the study, 87 percent of the local population use the phone’s alarm clock as against the global average of 67 percent. There were 8,000 total respondents.

Sixty-three percent of Filipinos also play games regularly, 48 percent listen to or download music, 44 percent watch video clips, and 13 percent even watch TV (versus an overall 5 percent).

Carole Sarthou, Synovate’s managing director for the Philippines, said in a statement that the high numbers of the country can be attributed to “cultural” and “circumstantial” factors.

“It’s part of the national psyche to love social connections, music and entertainment. How the Filipino love affair with the mobile is different compared to developing nations is that, in many cases, a mobile is all people have,” she said.

“It’s the only way they can listen to music, the only way they can play games and the only way they can communicate from afar. Many Filipinos use this instead of the Internet and computers and it’s not surprising that it has become such a multi-purpose, multi-tasking tool,” Sarthou added.

The survey also found that the Philippines was the closest market to being split on the issue when asked, “If lost, which would be harder to replace… your mobile phone or wallet/purse?”

Respondents from the Philippines said 47 percent of them said their mobile phone would be harder to replace while 52 percent chose the wallet/purse.

Synovate’s Sarthou said this result shows Filipinos would find the mobile difficult, or even impossible, to replace.

“The connection to other people stops when the phone is lost. It’s a storehouse for photos and videos, but most vital are contact details. Filipinos seek constant connection,” she said.

The survey also showed the Philippines coming out on top in using text in conveying potentially bad news:

• 12 percent have broken up with someone via text, led by 23 percent of Filipinos and 22 percent of both Malaysians and Russians.
• 35 percent agreed that they have hidden behind text to say no or send a difficult message, led by 49 percent of Filipinos, 48 percent of Malaysians and 47 percent of Singaporeans. Least likely to hide behind SMS are Canadians (79 percent disagree) and Americans (71 percent).
• 31 percent agreed they have lied about why they were running late or where they are, led by 57 percent of Filipinos and 44 percent of Singaporeans.

Least likely to lie via text (or so they say) are the Dutch (84 percent disagree) and the Americans (79 percent).

Synovate’s global head of media, Steve Garton, said mobile phones have become so ubiquitous that by last year, more human beings owned one than did not.

“In the Philippines and Africa,” millions of dollars have been transacted via mobile. The telco has effectively become a bank, allowing even those in rural areas to send and receive mobile money.

This is just one of the huge benefits which are changing lives in developing nations,” he said.

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