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Web surfing overtakes voice calls for smartphone users

Korean smartphone users preferred using their handsets for Web surfing rather than for voice calling and text messaging, a government survey found Thursday.

The Korea Communications Commission and the Korea Internet and Security Agency questioned 4,000 smartphone and tablet PC users aged between 12-59 in November.

According to the survey, 42.4 percent of respondents cited the Internet and mobile apps as their main purpose of smartphone use, while voice calling and text messaging make up 39.3 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively.

Their average time spent on Web surfing was one hour and 27 minutes a day, the survey found.

Almost 80 percent of the people said they have downloaded a mobile app over the past month, 37.7 percent said they spend more than 5,000 won to purchase a paid mobile app.

Mobile games and other apps for entertainment made up the most 78.6 percent, followed by those for communications and utility with 53.5 percent and 50.5 percent.

Youngsters aged between 12-18 favored music and entertainment services, while adult users preferred practical functions such as alarm, clock and scheduler.

With the popularity of mobile messengers such as the nation’s No. 1 app KakaoTalk, 68.1 percent said they have become to use text message services less than before, a jump from 41 percent in a same survey conducted in July.

People who purchase products via smartphones also surged to 47 percent compared to 16.9 percent surveyed last year.

One out of three respondents said they enjoy mobile shopping once a week or more via smartphones and many of them still preferred paying with credit cards (67.9 percent).

By Lee Ji-yoon