HONG KONG: Smartphone owners in Hong Kong are engaging in an increasingly diverse range of activities, a study has found.

Nielsen Media Research surveyed over 5,900 individuals aged 12-64 years old, and found that males make up 60% of the smartphone population.

By contrast, females make up 53% of subscribers using traditional handsets boasting more limited functionality.

Exactly 66% of the smartphone user base falls in the 20-44 year old demographic, ahead of 50% among participants utilising feature phones.

Some 47% of people owning gadgets like the iPhone or alternatives powered by Google's Android had a university education, and 32% lived in a household claiming a monthly income surpassing HK$40,000 ($5,131; €3,613; £3,165).

Both of these totals were considerably higher than those for the panel not possessing a smartphone, according to Nielsen.

Despite the advanced interactive capabilities supplied by touchphones, text messaging is still the most popular pastime for users, on 71%.

Taking photos logged 66%, listening to music received 50%, surfing the internet yielded 44%, accessing social networks or blogs delivered 41%, email secured 31%, and reading news hit 26%.

"With the rapid development Smartphones, everything people need is in the palm of their hands," said Oliver Rust, managing director, The Nielsen Company Hong Kong.

"With the mobile web becoming an integral part of consumers' lives, it is expected that the mobile space will be an up-and-coming platform for marketers to effectively reach their target customers."

When choosing a provider, 29% of smartphone subscribers focused on price or monthly fees, 28% prioritised network stability, 19% referenced personal experience and 11% cited company reputation.

Just 7% emphasised after-sales service, and 3% made their selection based on the convenience of branch locations.

While the order of these options was the same for general mobile phone users, cost constituted a primary concern for 39% of this group, with consistent reception registering 24%.

Nielsen and specialist ad network HotMob are now forming a partnership to gain further insights into evolving behaviours.

"With the increasing amount of mobile Internet usage, advertisers, agencies and publishers are looking for reliable data," said Rust.

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