BEIJING: Chinese smartphone owners are increasingly involved with their devices, to the extent that almost all are using them just before they go to bed, so creating what a new survey has termed the 25th hour in the day.

GroupM Interaction, part of the global media communications group, surveyed almost 981 smartphone users across various city tiers about their smartphone usage and its effects in their everyday lives.

"The influence of smartphones now extends from start to finish of every day," said Tony Chen, President, GroupM Interaction.

"Eighty per cent of survey respondents sleep with their phones at arm's reach, 73% wake up to their phone alarms, and 95% are busy on their phones before bed," he added.

The survey found that the quiet, pre-sleep period had been colonised, with users now busy checking and posting on messaging and social networking sites like WeChat and Weibo.

The love affair with the smartphone is almost a literal one, as 60% of the survey indicated they would give up a month of sex for a week with their phone.

The smartphone featured heavily in various other aspects of users' personal lives, with 66% of respondents having used it to break off a relationship, and 65% beautifying their photos before sharing them.

But smartphones were also opening up the offline world to new channels for web interactivity, with 73% of respondents, for example, having scanned a QR code while 51% used their devices to interact with TV programs.

And traditional devices like watches are in danger of becoming obsolete, as 91% of respondents said they preferred to use their phones to check the time.

"We are rapidly moving into a multi-screen world, and the phone … is emerging into the most important part of the media mix for brand campaigns," said Chen.

"The Mobile Internet is remaking the business world and brands need to adapt," he concluded.

Data sourced from GroupM Interaction; additional content by Warc staff