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Singapore Youths & Their Portable Gadgets

Interesting survey findings on youths


The Singapore Youth and their Portable Gadgets Survey was conducted in July and August 2005 by Second Year Media and Communication students from the School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic.


The survey was administered on 800 respondents who are Singapore youths between 15 and 29 years old.


It aimed to examine the general patterns of portable gadgets take-up rate and usage amongst Singapore youths. The survey was set around five types of gadgets namely handphones, portable music devices, digital cameras, portable game consoles and PDAs.


Major Findings

  • The most popular type of gadget owned was the handphone; 99% of respondents owned this type of gadget. This was followed by portable music device (63%), digital camera (46%), portable game console (18%) and PDA (11%).
  • Older respondents aged 25-29 had lower ownership rates for portable music devices than the younger respondents.
  • For portable music devices and portable game consoles, the ownership rate decreased as age increased. For PDAs, the opposite could be seen, the ownership rate increased as age increased.
  • 37% of respondents owned 2 out of 5 types of gadgets, followed by 31% who owned 3 out of 5. 2% of respondents owned all 5 types of gadgets.
  • The overall mean for the types of gadgets owned by the respondents was 2.38.
  • Male respondents have a higher mean than the female respondents, 2.43 as opposed to 2.33.
  • The younger the respondents, the higher the mean number of types of gadgets owned. The mean for the 15-19 age group was 2.49 as opposed to 2.35 and 2.31 respectively for the 20-24 and 25-29 age group.
  • Across all 5 types of gadgets, the majority of respondents bought their own gadgets.
  • Across all 5 types of gadgets, price emerged as the most important factor respondents considered when purchasing their gadgets.
  • The top 4 sources of information on portable gadgets were:
    1. Advertisements (64%)
    2. Friends (63%)
    3. Internet (51%)
    4. Magazines (51%)
  • Out of the 795 respondents who owned handphones, Nokia had the highest share at 56% while Samsung and Sony-Ericsson tied for second place at 16% each.
  • Top 3 functions used most regularly:
    1. SMS (99%)
    2. Making voice calls (61%)
    3. Taking pictures (58%).
  • Top 5 must-have functions of handphones:
    1. SMS feature (92%)
    2. Still camera feature (59%)
    3. MMS feature (56%)
    4. Video camera feature (42%)
    5. Play MP3 music (39%)
  • Respondents were asked how they would usually react when they receive a call in a social gathering. 51% of the 795 respondents would pick up the call in front of their friends and family while 45% would go to a quiet corner to answer their call. 4% would not pick up the call.
  • 6% of the respondents owned a 3G phone.
  • Amongst the respondents who owned a 3G phone, Nokia was the most popular brand.
  • Amongst these same respondents, the top 3G service provider was Singtel.
  • Top 2 factors considered by respondents when they purchased their 3G phones were:
    1. 3G phones looked more attractive than 2G or 2.5G phones.
    2. Friends had 3G phones.


  • The most popular use of a 3G phone was using it to access entertainment content.

  • The 754 respondents who did not own a 3G phone were asked to tick all the relevant reasons why they did not own a 3G phone. 57% said that it was because it was too expensive, 49% said that they did not need 3G functions and 43% said that they did not have many friends with 3G phones.
  • Out of a total of 504 respondents who owned portable music devices, Creative had the highest share at 37% followed by Sony (32%) and Apple (26 %).
  • 79% of these respondents owned a MP3 player.
  • Of the 504 respondents who owned portable music devices, 40% of them used their portable music device for 1 to 2 hours per day while 28% of the respondents used it for 3-4 hours.
  • These 504 respondents were asked to tick all the relevant options of when they used their portable music device from a list of given options. 91% of these respondents listened to their portable music device when travelling while 55% of them listened when studying or working alone.
  • These respondents got their main source of music by downloading them from the Internet (44%).
  • 12% of respondents who owned portable music devices knew what Pod-casting was.
  • Out of a total of 371 respondents who owned digital cameras, Canon held the highest share at 33% followed by Sony (17%) and Olympus (17%).
  • 36% of these 371 respondents used their digital camera on a weekly basis. They usually used their digital cameras for casual photo shoots (64%).
  • 52% of these respondents used their cameras to take self-portraits.
  • 66% of these respondents posted their digital photographs on the Internet.
  • Out of a total of 147 respondents who owned portable game consoles, Nintendo held the highest share at 79% followed by Sony (27%) and Nokia (11%).
  • 51% of these respondents spent less than an hour gaming a day while 33% spent 1-3 hours gaming a day.
  • 30% of these respondents played multi-player games using their portable game consoles.
  • The majority of these respondents (44%) bought new games for their portable gaming consoles on a yearly basis.
  • The majority of these respondents (54%) got the latest information about new games based on recommendations from their friends.
  • Out of a total of 91 respondents who owned PDAs, Palm held the highest share at 35% followed by O2 (28%) and HP (21%).
  • 40% of respondents' PDAs came equipped with phone functions.
  • The 3 most widely used functions of PDAs are:
    1. Scheduling/Calendar (71%)
    2. Email (36%)
    3. Note-taking (32%)
  • 75% of all the 800 respondents indicated that they would prefer a converged gadget as opposed to having different gadgets for different functions.
  • Respondents were asked to choose one item that they would not be able to live without from the following list: handphone, PC, TV, portable music device, PDA, portable game console and digital camera. 78% of all the 800 respondents indicated that they could not live without their handphone.

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