Today uShip released the results of its third annual mobile usage survey, designed to give the industry some insights into how over-the-road truck drivers are using their mobile phones, apps and other wireless devices for business. Over the coming days, we’ll be rolling out various pieces from this survey, including data that shows increased mobile dependence, significant shifts in use of smartphone GPS navigation over traditional GPS units and a greater appetite for social media and apps via mobile.
What Mobile Devices Do Truck Drivers Use?
When it comes to the type of device they prefer, transporters were nearly twice as likely to have an Android device (47%) over the iPhone (24%). And at 27%, even the basic “nothing fancy” phone (i.e. not a smartphone) ranked higher than the iPhone. Bringing up the rear was Blackberry (3%) and Windows phones (1%).
Why are more truckers using Android devices and non-smartphone devices?
A few educated guesses go into giving this trend some meaning and context. First, chances are when a transporter is on the road and is comfortable with their current cell phone, why change? Since communication is such a critical part of a transport business operation, transporters are often averse to any possible interruption. It’s like going from a Pinto to a Ferrari – it may be a slicker experience – but the device might have a learning curve or setup process that is prohibitively lengthy, and many drivers may not be willing to take that risk.
Second, cost could very well be an issue here. Apple’s iPhone 5 carries a price tag of $200 to $400 with a new two-year carrier contract or renewal. Android devices are priced more competitively, with frequent pricing promotions and a wider range of devices to meet buyers’ needs.
For transporters sporting “regular phones” – data shows 1 in 4 do – uShip offers a simplified mobile website (http://touch.uship.com) that can be accessed. We also offer Voice & Text (SMS) Alerts, as well as uShip Tracking that allows carriers to post Facebook-like status and location updates from any device (no GPS or web browser needed) so that customers can check the status of their deliveries. Click here to learn more about these mobile features for uShip Carriers.
About the Survey
Started in 2010, uShip’s mobile study is unique in that it tracks year-over-year mobile trends – not just a single point in time – of a cross-section of active transporters on uShip, ranging from commercial carriers to small-fleet owner-operators to hot-shot drivers. Over 26,000 drivers were surveyed between Oct. 17-30, 2012.