Alexander Wenz, Florian Keusch
The second-level smartphone divide: A typology of smartphone usage based on frequency of use, skills, and types of activities

arXiv preprint
40 S.
Ithaca, NY
Cornell University
ISSN: 2331-8422 (online)

This paper examines inequalities in the usage of smartphone technology based on five samples of smartphone owners collected in Germany and Austria between 2016 and 2020. We identify six distinct types of smartphone users by conducting latent class analyses that classify individuals based on their frequency of smartphone use, self-rated smartphone skills, and activities carried out on their smartphone. The results show that the smartphone usage types differ significantly by sociodemographic and smartphone-related characteristics: The types reflecting more frequent and diverse smartphone use are younger, have higher levels of educational attainment, and are more likely to use an iPhone. Overall, the composition of the latent classes and their characteristics are robust across samples and time.