How People Choose and Use Their Smartphones

How People Choose and Use Their Smartphones

Mohammad Nabil Almunawar (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei), Muhammad Anshari (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei), Heru Susanto (The Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia & Tunghai University, Taiwan) and Chin Kang Chen (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7909-0.ch084
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Global adoption of smartphones has changed the way people communicate, interact and perform their daily tasks. Smartphones have many highly attractive features that assist people in performing their daily tasks. This paper discusses a survey on the utilization of smartphones by consumers in Brunei Darussalam (Brunei). We use the Theory of Reasoned Action Model to reveal customers preference in choosing a specific product over the other. We conducted a survey with consumers, stressing on product preferences, consumption behavior of smartphones, as well as opinions on the functionality of smartphones. Smartphones are considered very useful by the majority of the respondents who are strongly attached to them as they are heavily used in social networking. As such, smartphones have reached to become necessary devices in Brunei and for many Bruneians, performance and appearance are more important than price.
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It cannot be denied that the global adoption of smartphones has had a major influence on how people interact, communicate, and to some extent perform their daily tasks (Hur, 2017). Since its introduction, smartphones have attracted mobile phone users as it outperforms old cell phones, which has caused the major player in mobile phone industry, Nokia, to lose its market and the new major players such as Apple (iPhones) and Samsung (Android phones) to take over the market. The smartphone is a communication and at the same time a data processing device. Although it cannot replace all laptops or desktop functions, most daily tasks can be performed using available applications (apps), which continually grow and develop in varieties and numbers.

The main advantage of smartphone is a constant connection to the Internet through available mobile networks, such as 3G/4G or Wifi networks, which allows its users perform their tasks in their preferred locations anytime (Weal, 2011; Ciavarrini, Luconi, & Vecchio, 2017). As such, users of smartphones, through the Internet, can stay in touch with their families, friends or social networks, read news, check flight schedules, book tickets, find taxis, collaborate with peers or colleagues to complete tasks or assignments, or watch TV or movies online.

The availability of various apps to help users has made smartphones a general information and communication device (Fullwood, 2017; Anshari & Lim, 2016). Apps either in iOS or Android platforms are easily available and can be downloaded anytime from an online store, either free or at reasonable prices. As the size of apps are relatively small, like a desktop or laptop, a smartphone can have many apps depending on its memory capacity. An example of a useful app for travelling is a digital map app such as Google Maps or Waze that help a user navigate to a location. Finding a place using a digital map is straightforward and the directions toward the place can be generated. The GPS receiver in any smartphone helps track the direction so that the destination can be reached accurately at a reasonable time (Wang, & McArthur, 2017; Li,, 2017). The availability of GPS in a smartphones has made them become a location aware device, which can help users in finding more information on the surrounding area.

No doubt, the world-wide adoption of smartphones has created great opportunities for mobile devices related businesses (Srivastava, Singh, & Srivastava, 2013). As such, the smartphone market is expanding and new smartphones with innovative and better features are introduced every year, making the smartphone market a very lucrative and at the same time a very competitive market. Samsung is still the market leader with a market share of 22.8% in the first quarter of 2017, followed by Apple, 14.9%. Three Chinese vendors have entered the top 5 market leaders, namely Huawei, Oppo and Vivo with market shares of 9.8%, 7.4% and 5.2% respectively (IDC, 2017).

Mobile penetration in Brunei is very high, 119.5% in 2016 Q1 (AITI, 2016), and indicates that there are more mobile phones than there are people and most of these mobile phones are smartphones. We think that it is important to understand behaviour of smartphone users in Brunei. Our research is geared towards understanding customers’ behaviour, especially on the use of smartphones in Brunei. This research is aimed to reveal: (a) the market share of smart phones, (b) the reason why people want to have smartphones, (c) monthly spending on smartphones, (d) the usage of smartphones, (e) the influence of smartphones on daily activities, (f) public opinions on whether smartphones have positive or negative effects, and (g) how parents control their children’s use of smartphones.

We distributed a questionnaire containing 36 questions in a survey of the general public in Brunei from February to March, 2012. 430 respondents took part in this survey. The data were designed to provide initial ideas and recommendations to the service providers, decision makers, and even policy makers on how to move forward in anticipating the fast adoption of smartphones in Brunei.

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