Australia’s obsession with mobile internet-connected ‘smartphones’ has reached new heights (or lows) depending on how you read the results of a Telstra survey. Australians have admitted to using their devices in bed, on the loo and, alarmingly, when behind the wheel.

The inaugural Telstra Smartphone Index revealed the average Australian had entered a new age in which smartphones go literally wherever they do.

“Whether we’re at home in front of the tele, in the bathroom or in bed, Telstra’s research suggests smartphones have become an indispensable way for Aussies to get connected and access the information, entertainment and news that matters to them,” Telstra Consumer Executive Director Rebekah O’Flaherty, said.

Telstra’s Smartphone Index reveals:

  • Smartphones are Australians new bed buddy – more than half of smartphone owners admit to using their smartphone in bed, with women the most likely offenders (54 per cent versus 49 per cent of men).
  • Aussies love “throne-surfing” – almost one third admitted using their smartphone to surf the web while on the toilet – although only one per cent admit to doing so regularly. Additionally, men are more avid loo-surfers (38 per cent have used their smartphone on the toilet versus 22 per cent of women).
  • Smartphones don’t make for smart drivers – alarmingly, one in five Australian drivers admit to surfing the web on their smartphone while driving – despite this being illegal in all states and territories.
  • Smartphones are not just for Generation Ys – almost one in five Aussie smartphone owners are over 50, and 41 per cent are over 40.
  • Males are bigger smartphone fans with 43 per cent of mobile-using males owning smartphones vs 31 per cent of females.
  • Females check social networking sites more regularly on their mobiles than males (34 per cent vs 29 per cent on a daily basis).

One can only wonder why the “throne and bed surfing” habits of any nationality would warrant  a survey, let alone asking complete strangers to even divulge the information. I guess for Telstra, the data is critically important for network performance tuning to ensure optimum in-building coverage, even the bathroom. However, it does raise some even more important sociological questions about women being so bored in bed they resort to mobile web-surfing or are they just waiting for their partners to finish web-surfing in the loo?

For all of us to get the most out this research we will probably have to wait for CSPs in other countries to hold the same critically important survey. Any takers?