Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Factors Influencing the Adoption of Smartphones by Undergraduate Students at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Factors Influencing the Adoption of Smartphones by Undergraduate Students at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Smartphones can perhaps be considered as the most ubiquitous technology amongst the youth as it allows users to connect to one another socially. Aside voice calls and text messaging; it can be used for personal, educational, business, entertainment and a plethora of other purposes. One of the features that make smartphones very popular amongst youth is the inclusion of social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc. As a consequence, users can take pictures with their built-in camera, record videos and share these with a variety of online social media applications without so much effort. Thus, this has become a symbol of expression amongst the youth.

Over the last few years, smartphones have brought about significant and unprecedented changes in the way humans interact and share information and the number of users worldwide has grown from close to 700million in 2012 to an estimated 1.75billion in 2014 (eMarketer, 2014) and these figures are expected to rise particularly in the Middle East and Africa. Gartner (2014) revealed that the sales of smartphones surpassed that of feature phones for the first time in 2013, signifying increased acceptance and use. Probably, this can be attributed to the gradual decline of smartphone prices and growth in market share. Interestingly in 2013, Samsung Electronics noted that Nigerians bought 41% of the entire smartphones sold in Africa, surpassing South Africa by 10% (Tell, 2013). Summarily, this acceptance and usage is predominant in youths who are less than 30years, work full time or are in school (OAfrica, 2013).

Defining a smartphone is somewhat problematic because a clear cut scientific or industry definition is hard to find but it has often been used as a general term for the kind of phone that has an independent operating system like a PC and could achieve wireless network access through mobile communications networks (Baike, 2013) as cited by Mei et al (2013). It can arguably be described as the converged ultimate in mobile consumer products. Beyond interpersonal communication and interaction among students, there are intrinsic factors that may influence them to adopt technology. For instance, students who often times leave home to attend schools elsewhere will need to communicate with parents, siblings, relatives and friends. Similarly, smartphones will presumably allow students have immediate access to information, communication applications, ability to shop online, mobile banking and entertainment.

However, studies that empirically determine how demographic characteristics of students, technological characteristics of smartphones and communication factors influence students' adoption of smartphones in Nigeria is generally sparse that is why this research will investigate this in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Nigeria. This study is designed to understand how the demographic characteristics of the respondents, perceived characteristics of smartphones and communication channels influence undergraduate students' adoption of smartphones in AAU, Nigeria.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

This study is guided by three hypotheses:

1. There is no significant relationship between the demographic characteristics of the respondents and students' adoption of smartphones

2. There is no significant relationship between perceived characteristics of smartphones and students' adoption at Ambrose Alli University

3. There is no significant relationship between the influence of communication channels and students' adoption of smartphones.

EMPIRICAL STUDIES ON FACTORS INFLUENCING SMARTPHONE ADOPTION

Demographic characteristics refer to the personal characteristics such as age, gender, sex, study level, religion, ethnic group, etc of the smartphone user. Many studies have shown that gender plays an important role in technology adoption (Gefen & Straub, 1997; Morris & Venkatesh, 2000). When men decide to use a technology, their decision is often strongly influenced by the perceived usefulness of the technology in comparison with others, while ease of use is the major variable influencing women's decisions. …

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