Last week, our survey of Data UN compared the use of the smartphone camera with that of traditional cameras. The ratio was approximately 9 – 3. In other words, for every nine people who regularly use a smartphone, only three use a camera. As usually happens in statistical studies, a part of this comparative data, by itself, opens an interesting line of observation. We are talking about the percentage of people who say they have and frequently use a smartphone: the result was 91,5%
Given the shocking figure, the logical step was to compare the use of smartphones with that of computers, both desktop PCs and laptops. To start exploring the matter, we start from an interesting article published on the portal The Conversation in February 2020 (just before the pandemic), wondering if smartphones pushed laptops and PCs into disuse and eventual disappearance, about some usage data and preference for each device at that time.
A Statista study, published in March 2022, states that the distribution of web traffic in Latin America by device is: computer 40,73% – Smartphone 58,35% – tablet 0,86%. that same report places this distribution, in the case of Venezuela, at 56,53% for computers, 42,76% for smartphones and 0,68% for tablets.
Data provided by the platform Statcounter They are alike. They say that the distribution of web traffic in Venezuela in September 2022 was 55,5% computers, 42,5% smartphones and 2,35% tablets.
We decided to do our own measurement, based on the responses from our audience. We published a digital poll on our website and social networks asking people about their preferred device for searching information on the internet, as well as for work and study, among desktop computers, laptops and smartphones. We then asked them which one they would keep if they had to keep just one, and finally, we asked their thoughts on the idea that smartphones could eventually make personal computers obsolete.
Between Monday, October 3 and Thursday, October 6, 623 people participated and the results are as follows:
depends on what for
The first question refers to which device people use the most, but we differentiate the type of use to have a more precise understanding of the situation. Because searching for information on the internet is not the same as doing other activities related to work or study; Both things may or may not coincide in the choice of device. So we first ask what is the device that is most used to search for information on the Internet and, then, the same thing but to work / study.
We group the results of both questions in a single graph to be able to appreciate the differences.
We obtained that to search for information on the internet a very clear majority, corresponding to 61,4%, prefers to use the smartphone. Just under a quarter, 24,7%, browse the web mostly through a desktop PC and 10,9% through a laptop or notebook computer.
When it comes to work or study, the situation is quite different. Here 41% say they mostly use their smartphone and 37% answered that the desktop PC. The remaining 22% state that most of the time they use a laptop for these activities.
We add data from desktop PCs and laptops to see more clearly the competition between computers and smartphones.
It highlights that, in the case of web browsing, a majority of almost two thirds (64,4%) prefer mobile devices, while 35,6% still do this through a computer. But, when we talk about working or studying, almost 60% use mostly a computer. However, it is not negligible and it is very striking that 41% state that they work or study by cell phone.
We love phones, but without exaggeration
The next question in our survey sought to push a little harder on participants' preference for one of the gadgets and gauge how important that item has become in their lives. We asked them to answer the following: “If you had to keep only one, which of these devices would you choose?” The options were the same as the previous items.
A majority of 61% answered that they would choose to keep their smartphone. 20,9% would give up other devices to keep their desktop computer and 17,3% would defend their laptop until the end.
The data collected up to this point shows that smartphones are of great importance in today's life and are used for multiple activities, which, logically, makes them highly valued. But this does not necessarily lead to the determination, as the article we quoted at the beginning of this work suggested, that personal computers are on their way to disappearing. To the contrary, when we asked our survey participants that question, the vast majority, more than 66%, answered no.
The so-called smartphones are, without a doubt, increasingly important and useful; they are, in practice, the sum of a phone and a computer, arranged in such a way that they serve to solve multiple tasks with the same device. It could be said that they are a basic tool in modern life. But personal computers are still used in various scenarios and also play a very important role in current dynamics. Perhaps the evolution of mobile devices could over time displace desktop computers in many areas, but it seems that this will be a few years away. At least that's how most people perceive it.