A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF SMARTPHONE USAGE PATTERNS: THE CASE OF GHANA
Over the past decade, the use of smartphones has become the norm rather than the exception among all the income groups of people around most parts of the World. Foremost among the reasons why people invest substantial amounts of money to purchase a smartphone, is mainly to employ its computing powers to facilitate their day-to-day routines as well as gain recognition and respect as compared to the traditional cellular phones used mainly for making telephone calls and also sending text messages. This study sought to use survey responses from a cross-section of various income groups in Ghana; namely low-income, middle-income, and high-income, to determine the underlying reasons why even people who are at the very bottom of the income brackets strive to acquire a smartphone at all cost. The responses analyzed in this study were sourced from varied sources using three research instruments namely; questionnaires, interview guides, and observation schedule. The data obtained were tested using chi-square analysis for purposes of firming up the research findings. The principal finding was that most individuals, even the least educated, had become so much used to technology such that an Internet-enabled telephone has become more or less a must-have so that they could use its numerous applications (apps) especially social network applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also Google Play Store, Apple Play Store, where various software applications could be downloaded were also influencers for the acquisition of a smartphone.