420 million smart-phones will be sold worldwide according to IMS Research (July 2011).

With all of today’s cloud-this and cloud-that it seems astonishing that 52 million of those new owners will use their fingers alone to put their contact info into their new device. This is according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of IDrive. We asked the question, “When you purchased your latest smart-phone (e.g. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), how did you get your existing contact information onto the device?”

According to the survey, 46% of smart-phone owners have existing contact data to put into their new phones; the most common method is through one’s mobile carrier, either by an app or transferred at a retail location (39%). The next most common method is manual entry at 27% – that’s 52 out of 420 million phones. 25% of respondents synced their device with software like iTunes or BlackBerry Desktop – this usually doesn’t take too much time, but you do need to be near your computer. 18% used their SIM card or flash memory. SIM cards don’t always transfer everything though (like contact photos) and iPhones don’t have a micro-SD slot do they?. Only 10% used the cloud to transfer their contacts: no computers, no wires and done right where they were standing.

Armed with this information, we wanted to know how long it would take all the new smart-phone owners of 2011 to transfer just 50 contacts into their news phones – so we did a little experiment. We had 10 of our fabulous employees hunker down and type the same 10 contacts into their smart-phones complete with first name, last name, address, phone number and e-mail. The average: 1.28 minutes per contact. Now, we know this isn’t definitive, but it’s a good place to start.

So thats 52 million new smart-phone owners transferring 50 at 1.28 minutes per contact: would take them more than 56 million total hours to enter them! That adds 6,430 years worth of time! How many contacts are in your phone? How long would it take you?

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This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus product on behalf of IDrive from August 2-4, 2011 among 2,148 adults age 18 and older. The data was weighted to reflect to composition of the adultonline population. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A full methodology is available by contacting info@pro-softnet.com.