Dallas Top City For Smartphone, Tablet Use

Dallas has higher smartphone adoption rate than New York and San Francisco, survey shows. Also, a frightening 2% of people admit to mobile shopping during a funeral.

Eric Zeman, Contributor

October 18, 2013

4 Min Read

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If you had to guess which city has the highest adoption rate of smartphones, would Dallas have been your pick? According to Soasta, 76% of Dallas respondents to a recent survey admitted to owning a smartphone. New York City, the country's largest metro area, has the lowest adoption rate of smartphones at just 48%.

Soasta polled residents of the country's top markets: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. It looked at several factors and behaviors of smartphone ownership, including penetration, app use and manners.

The data, generated by Harris Interactive, shows that after Dallas at 76%, the top adopters of smartphones are Los Angeles with 66%, Washington, D.C. (64%), Philadelphia (62%), Houston (62%), San Francisco (61%), Atlanta (60%), Chicago (57%), Boston (55%) and New York (48%). Countrywide, Soasta says 60% of U.S. respondents say they own a smartphone.

Adoption of tablets is markedly lower. Dallas leads the country in tablet adoption, too, with 48% of respondents claiming they own tablets. Dallas is followed by Washington, D.C. (43%), Chicago (39%), New York (39%), Los Angeles (38%), Boston (38%), Philadelphia (37%), San Francisco (36%) and Houston (34%). Soasta pegs nationwide tablet adoption at about 39%. That figure doesn't include e-readers, such as the Barnes & Noble Nook or Amazon's entry-level Kindle. Combined, about 21% of respondents said they owned an e-reader.

[ Will this be the next must-have smartphone? Read Samsung Plans Smartphone With Curved Screen. ]

New Yorkers might be least likely of the top 10 markets to carry a smartphone, but they are more apt to actually use their smartphone. According to Soasta, 92% of smartphone-owning New Yorkers used their device to load a mobile app first thing in the morning, followed closely by Philadelphians (89%) and Bostonians (88%). App use runs fairly high across all the top markets, with Atlanta at 86%, followed by Chicago (85%), San Francisco (83%), Houston (81%), and Washington D.C. and Dallas (both 80%). Los Angelinos are least likely to check their phones in the morning, with 75% saying they load an app first thing.

The breakdown of actual app usage shows that people check email the most, with 67% of respondents saying that email is what they do first. Email was followed by weather (45%), social media (40%), news (35%), financial news (12%), traffic (11%), horoscope (6%), public transit (5%) and dating apps (3%).

"It's clear from our survey that checking mobile apps is becoming part of our daily lives," said Tom Lounibus, CEO of SOASTA. "From managing their investment portfolios to checking the daily commute, smartphone owners are using apps to gather information and plan their activities wherever they go."

Soasta says that shopping from smartphones is quite popular. Three-quarters of respondents in San Francisco said they use their smartphone to shop for goods. Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles followed San Francisco with 68%, 67%, and 66%, respectively. About 65% of Atlanta and Dallas smartphone owners use their devices for shopping, while in Houston, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia those numbers are 58%, 55%, 50%, and 49%, respectively.

San Franciscans are also most apt to shop from their smartphones when at work (are you paying attention, IT?). One in five respondents from San Francisco said they shopped during a conference call, and 23% admitted to shopping when attending a meeting. At the workplace, 10% of all respondents shopped during a meeting and 10% shopped while on a conference call. For shame.

People also use their smartphones to shop at times when they probably shouldn't. Soasta says 7% of respondents tune out to shop while their spouse is talking about work, and 5% of respondents shop while their coworkers are talking about their kids. Worst, 2% of respondents said they shopped while attending a funeral. C'mon, people, where are your manners?

About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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