SYDNEY: The mobile internet is gaining in popularity in Australia, a trend encouraged by the heightened uptake of devices such as Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry.

Initiative, the media agency, surveyed 1,072 smartphone owners in the 18–54 year old demographic to gain an insight into their current habits and preferences.

Overall, it found that data tools, including email, accounted for 51% of total mobile activity, falling to 39% for voice calls, 6% for gaming and a combined 4% for the various further functions available.

"Mobile data access from smartphones is an extra media activity in Australia and has no impact on people's time spent on other media," Chris O'Keefe, managing director of Initiative Sydney, added.

"There is no road map for how this media will develop, but it's clear that mobile data usage is in addition to people's existing media consumption."

More broadly, 51% of the panel viewed online content (excluding email) several times a day, as did 19% on a daily basis, and 30% with a lesser degree of frequency.

The typical participant surfed the mobile web for 27 minutes a day, and consumers across all age groups were displaying a rising enthusiasm for this pastime.

Elsewhere, 36% of the sample had signed up to receive material directly from companies on their phone, with 35–44 year olds showing the highest level of engagement.

However, 42% of contributors stated a preference for avoiding mobile advertising, and would be willing to pay A$50 ($46; €35; £39) for certain apps rather than being exposed to commercial communications.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff