Where's The Phone?

by Imran Ali

Nokia's Jan Chipchase continues to generate interesting and valuable research on the usage of mobile handsets with her work on how people carry their phones.

A Cross Cultural Study on Phone Carrying and Personalisation (downloads, slides & background here) explores the intersection between where people carry their handsets and how they respond to incoming calls and messages.

The study, conducted in eleven cities with around fifteen hundred participants, reveals some interesting behaviors...

  • 60% of men sampled carried their phone in their front-right trouser pockets.

  • 61% of women carried their phone in a bag...and are more likely to miss calls and messages as they locate their phone!

  • Men migrate from pockets to belt pouches as they age (and presumably gain weight!)

  • Hygiene, convenience, physical protection and crime prevention are the major factors in carrying a phone.

  • In some cultures, phone straps are a form of social signaling.

I would love to hear how Nokia uses such studies to direct the design of their handsets and perhaps more significantly whether this has any traction with with carriers whom largely dictate the feature set of handsets.