Americans spend up to $12K in time-saving smartphone apps

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 22, 2013


Smartphone addicted Americans have something to cheer about. Findings from a new ClickSoftware poll show that American smartphone owners paid an average of $174 for their current smartphone, however, the ubiquitous accessory could actually put up to $12,000 in time-saving value in its owner’s palm. This dollar amount represents the 97 percent of American smartphone owners who use apps and report that such usage saves them up to 88 minutes a day. That is equivalent to as much as 22 days’ worth of free time per year.

This survey was conducted online in The United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of ClickSoftware among 2,120 adults ages 18 and older, of which 971 are smartphone owners.

“This survey calculates a concrete value of the benefits that mobility brings to every day life and it is apparent that the smartphone-toting masses are, in reality, carrying quite a high-ticket item, far more valuable than the price they paid to purchase the device,” said Gil Bouhnick, vice president of Mobility, ClickSoftware. “Beyond being a five-figure personal accessory, the smartphone can afford its owner, on average, more than 500 hours per year in savings accrued by using popular apps like Email, text and GPS as tallied from our survey data.”

Popular apps

Among the apps available on the phone, Email, text and social networking apps lead the pack for frequency of use, followed by games and web browsing, with weather, GPS and calendar apps also making it onto the leaderboard.

Men (17 percent) are more likely than women (10 percent) to identify GPS apps as one of the three types of apps they use most often. More than half (59 percent) of people who use GPS (either most, second-most or third-most) consider themselves to be extremely or very productive when using GPS and 72 percent say GPS saves them up to 30 minutes per day, versus completing the same task without the app, for instance, using a paper map.

After selecting the top three types of apps they use most frequently, the smartphone owners who use apps collectively attribute a total savings of as much as 88 minutes per day to app use—up to10 hours per week or 535 hours (22 days) per year—as opposed to functioning without the use of those smartphone apps.

According to Social Security Administration data, the average U.S. annual wage is $45,790, which makes the average cost of an hour of an American worker’s time $22 based on a typical 40 hour work week. Multiply that by the up to 535 hours per year in time savings simply realized from smartphone owners’ use of their top three apps and the true value of the smartphone emerges at approximately $12,000 ($11,777) for just one year of use.

Saving time

People aged 35+ are far more likely to list weather apps among their top three most-often used, while the younger 18-34 crowd plays on social networking sites with more frequency. Interestingly, 79 percent of smartphone owners say they save up to an hour per day by using weather apps, perhaps to avoid running late after ransacking the house for that lost umbrella or sitting in weather-related traffic delays.

While smartphone owners report feeling productive when they use apps on their phones, the survey also reveals a majority (82 percent), feel they are probably not using all the features and apps on their smartphones to the fullest. And 77 percent of them feel it is important to be able to access their information from multiple devices (e.g. smartphone, laptop and tablet).

“As powerful as our survey results prove the smartphone to be, the exciting reality is today’s mobile technology innovation has only scratched the surface of its potential to propel success, both in personal life and in business. The trend of “consumerization of IT” is sure to make workers demand this productivity in their workplace. As the lines continue to blur between work and non-work mobile device use, organizations will seek out cost-effective solutions that empower their mobile workforce and enhance their bottom line while supporting complete workflows required in the enterprise market,” said said Bouhnick.