Survey finds PCs still dominate internet usage

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A survey conducted by  StollzNow Research showed that PCs were still the number 1 way people accessed the internet.

“It is a rapidly evolving space and people are still exploring the whole notion of mobile computing,” Neil Stollznow, director of the company said, but noted “what you have to bear in mind is this is taking place right now, and not in the future.”

The survey found PCs were used more frequently than smartphones or tablets, with 94 per cent of online users using their PC daily. “If you have a tablet and a smartphone, you’re still using it very regularly,” Stollznow said.

In contrast 69% of people used their smartphone daily to access the internet, and 58% used their tablet daily.

“Smartphones and tablets used a little bit less frequently, but not that much.”

Overall  almost everyone in Australia (98 per cent) uses a PC to access the Internet with 47 per cent using smartphones and 19 per cent using a tablet.

It is also clear that PC users used their PC to access more websites and more more extended browsing sessions.

The survey found younger people were more likely to use smartphones and older users more likely to use tablets, but of course everyone used PCs.

“You’re more likely to use a smartphone under 34 years of age,” he said. Tablet usage is not very high in the under 25 group and only begins to rise in the over 25 to under 34 age group, lending to an older age profile.

“Maybe that’s the cost of getting into a tablet or people use it as a third device, as a tablet isn’t necessarily a young person’s thing, but a between age person’s thing,” Stollznow said.

He found the most common thing to do on any device is checking email.

“Whether it is a PC, tablet or a smartphone, email still rules as the number one thing people do online,” Stollznow said. “If you are going to do one thing it’s send an email.”

“There’s not a lot of difference in the percentage of people who use a smartphone or a PC or a tablet for social media,” Stollznow said, “so social media is not a mobile exclusive task.”

“Given the introduction of Microsoft Surface and other cross platform devices, you can see technology moving into the space of mobile computing, so it’s really interesting to see how it is used,” he said.

The survey serves as a reminder that tablet and smartphone use has not replaced, but rather supplemented PC usage, and that despite ownership of the latest smartphones and tablets the PC remains the central point of interaction of users with the internet.

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