THE popularity of smartphones is on the rise within regional New South Wales, with 50 percent of regional residents surveyed now owning a smartphone, closing the gap on surveyed capital city residents at 63 percent.
A further 20 percent of regional residents are planning to upgrade to a smartphone in the next twelve months.
Published today, the Optus 'Smartphone Study' indicated that regional New South Wales is regularly making use of a broad range of smartphone features and applications, with 42 percent of surveyed regional residents
claiming that they couldn't live without their smartphone.
The 'Smartphone Study' also highlighted desire for the Apple iPhone 4S in regional New South Wales is high. Over a third (36 percent) of surveyed regional residents cite the Apple iPhone as the brand of smartphone they would most like to own.
Head of Optus Country Anthony Shiner is extremely happy with the number of pre-orders in the lead up to the release of the new iPhone.
"Due to our stores carrying higher stock levels than previous years, we are more likely to meet customer demand.
"Customers that have pre-ordered on the website will have guaranteed stock awaiting them at their chosen store from 8:00am on 14th October."
Why we love our smartphones
According to the survey, the four most popular smartphone uses are taking photographs and video footage (84 percent), sending and reading emails (81 percent), browsing the Internet (73 percent) and checking the weather (70 percent).
The growth of mobile social networking shows no sign of subsiding, with 59 percent of surveyed regional residents having downloaded and used a social networking app.
The popularity of mobile gaming continues to rise as well, with 51 percent of surveyed regional residents having downloaded and used a gaming app, with a further 49 percent having downloaded and used a navigation app, and 44 percent having downloaded and used a news app.
The popularity of such devices has put pressure on infrastructure to handle the extra data and range required.
"Optus continues to invest significantly in its network by building extra towers and capacity to ensure our regional customers get the best experience with their handset of choice" Mr. Shiner said.
"For the past 4 years, Optus have built more than 2 base stations every day to expand its dual band network to 97% of the Australian population.
"This process, and the addition of an extra 500 mobile sites, will ensure our customers get improved 3G signal in more places, enabling them to make the most of their smartphone."