A survey conducted by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group of Beijing says Chinese smartphone habits vary depending on what tier city the user lives in. Some of its findings include:
- Social networking apps are most popular in big cities. 53.8 percent of respondents said they used apps like Sina Weibo and WeChat often, while in third- and fourth-tier cities, the figure is about 41 percent.
- First- and second-tier city smartphone owners tend to have more apps for food, sports, and tourism. Lower-tier cities have fewer listings for sightseeing and restaurant recommendations, so these types of apps aren’t as necessary or useful.
- Third- and fourth-tier users are more likely to use their phones for entertainment, such as listening to music or watching video.
- Probably the least surprising finding: navigation and transportation apps are more popular in bigger cities.
The study surveyed nearly 2,000 Chinese smartphone owners aged 18 to 32. Smartphone penetration is likely much lower in the smaller cities as the general population earns less income.
A city’s tier is not an exact science, but is based on a mixture of factors including population, development of services, and average income. This means that cities like Guangzhou and Tianjin, which have equally large urban populations, are categorized under different tiers (Guangzhou is a first-tier city, while Tianjin is a second-tier city).
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)