Telstra and Nielsen recently conducted research into the growth of the use of smartphones in Australia and the majority of activities undertaken by smartphone users – gone are the days when mobile phones were only used for making phone calls!

Turns out that 36% of the population are currently smartphone users with ownership expected to grow more than half the Australian mobile population within the next 12 months. While most of us would assume that Generation Y are the main users, 41% of smartphone users are actually over the age of 40 and 22% are over the age of 50.

So why have smartphones become so popular? The report found that more than half of smartphone owners are accessing the internet from their mobiles daily, and while 16 to 29 year olds make up 67% of daily mobile internet users, 51% are aged 30-49 and 32% were over the age of 50.

The research also revealed that internet search engines, email, news and weather sites were the three most visited websites by smartphone users and many Australian smartphone users are now visiting these sites more often on their mobile phones than on a computer.

So what does this mean for businesses? Another study by Nielsen suggests that businesses need to develop mobile websites to keep up with Australia’s growing smartphone usage.

“We’re increasingly seeing devices become agnostic, and I would imagine you’re going to want your business site to be designed so it can fit a number of different screen sizes. Your site needs to adapt,” Managing Director of Nielsen’s online business, Matt Bruce said.

And as the use of smartphones appears to be fairly evenly spread across all ages, it seems no business should ignore the fact that their websites need to accommodate today’s need for information on the go.

Talk to Ellis Jones about building a smartphone-ready website or blog, or go that step further and create your very own app.

image credit: Pratt Library