A new study found that, even though half of Britons consider their smartphone essential to organizing their everyday lives, their device is more likely to be filled with “clutter” than their closet, car, or kitchen. Research by Three found that 29% of users have 16 or more phone numbers that haven’t been used in a year, while 11% have more than 31 contacts they haven’t spoken to in the same period. This includes old friends (48%), colleagues (44%), random people who met one night (13%), and people who met on dating apps (10%). Meanwhile, it is estimated that there are more than 400 million unused apps and 300 million unopened messages among all users in the country.
The results may seem false at first glance (after all, a messy appliance is less obvious and urgent than a cluttered kitchen), but they provide valuable information about consumption and shopping habits.
The first is that many people find this situation stressful. For example, clutter on the home screen or icons that show how many unread emails a person might have can be a source of frustration. This is especially true for younger users.
The second is that smartphone users collect huge amounts of data (whether it’s contact information, pictures, or apps) that flows into the device’s memory. Three’s study found that 41% of people transfer data from one device to another without erasing anything.
This means they may be dissuaded from buying a new device because the cost of a model with enough storage space may be prohibitive or they may opt for an inappropriate plan or phone.
Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the most popular time for upgrades and purchases, Three gives users tips on how to download their device through workshop sessions, either in-store or online, and three months of free Google One storage to help them manage their device.
“Smartphones play a huge role in managing our lives, from photos and music to contacts, emails, and messages,” says Aislinn O’Connor, Three UK’s Chief Marketing Officer. “However, as we continue to rely on our devices to organize ourselves and storage capacity continues to grow, it is becoming more and more overloaded. With many of us upgrading or buying new smartphones in the coming months, it’s the ideal time to optimize your device and feel more organized in life.”