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2/3 of People Would Choose Their Phone Over Their TV

Either you never watch television again or you could never use your smartphone again, which one are you more willing to eliminate from your life? 64% of people surveyed would choose their smartphone over their television.

smartphone becoming first screen

Edison Research recently released a fantastic summary of social media usage patterns and trends for 2011 called “The Social Habit.” I’d highly encourage you take a look at the entire slide deck, but this figure alone surprised me. Although I’m not sure why, since I watch more news and “TV” (Netflix, Hulu) on my iPhone than on my television.

Does this surprise you?

Here’s the entire slide deck:


  1. From the standpoint of intimacy and a perception of control of interaction with the outside world and advertisers/business, I am not surprised that the mobile phone is becoming the “first screen.” I have questions though as to how far this can go from a practical perspective when you consider our ever increasing thirst for information.

    How will it be absorbed through that screen alone, or atleast primarily? You can only simplify an interface so far, right?

    • interesting. kevin kelly of wired magazine talked about the future as “screens” all over the place–the phone seems to be the primary screen, but some of the other slides in this research survey noted the increasing amount of people who use 5+ screens on a daily basis.

      i like what you said about perception of control–that’s certainly a HUGE reason why i love my iPhone.

  2. It doesn’t surprise me.

    The screen of my smartphone gives me a much wider grasp of the world and access to the information and resources that are out there. Plus, as you mention, most TV broadcasts are available online as well.

    I think this data is true if we consider the present incarnation of television. However, as ipTV and other Internet Television devices are developed, it may change again.

    The reality is, most people demand more than just passive instream of broadcasts over the airwaves.

    • i agree with wider–and also immediacy. it’s painful to watch the news on TV when I’ve already seen most of those stories on my phone or a news app hours before.

      personally i get so frustrated w news shows that make everything “breaking” and “urgent”–as daniel mentioned above i love controlling when and how i consume info, especially world news.

      i do see a proliferation of “screens” in the near future–as costs continue to plummet having screens of different shapes, sizes, and functionality all around seems very possible.

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