How do Japanese people use their smartphones?


smartphoneWe recently wrote about a survey that indicated Japanese people are switching from feature phones to smartphones Since then we’ve stumbled across another survey that sheds even more light on how people in Japan use their smartphones.

Typical Japanese salarymen (and women) spend a lot of time commuting to and from work, and this appears to impact the ways people use their smartphones. According to this survey, conducted by PR Times, searching for and reading news was most popular activity at 70%. Searching for destinations and stores (using maps) was next at 54%, and playing games ranked third at 52%. These activities were followed by using social networks and photo apps, also popular actvities here in Japan. If we break it down by gender, men tend to favor mobile news services, while women outscored men in their usage of social neworks and photo apps.

The most frequent behavior was searching and reading news, and many people responded that they do this during their lunch time (about 57%), at home while relaxing (about 53%), and during commuting hours (about 51%). The most popular destinations and apps for news were Yahoo News at 83%, Google News at 31%, 2ch Matome news at 17%, and Naver Matome at 12%.

naver-matomeMatome roughly means “round-up” in Japanese, and these sorts of sites are gaining in popularity as curation sites as a whole are experiencing strong user growth. Naver Matome is especially popular with female in their teens, with 35% of them using the site. That’s 22.5% higher compared to other age segments. The survey revealed that 2ch Matome news is a go-to destination for many men in their 20s at 33%. Women in the same age segment prefer Mixi news (at 22%). Nikkei, the digital version of probably the most prestigious financial newspaper in Japan, is read mostly by men in their 50s (at 26%).

When asked about the mobile buying experience, one in four people who regulary read news on smartphones answered that they have bought something on their handsets. Of those same people, 66% have visited official accounts of companies and brands on different social networks, and 47% have been involved in promotional campaigns.