University of Oulu

Impacts of the pandemic : smartphone adoption and usage during the isolation in Finland and Japan

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Author: Hautala, Jenni1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.3 MB)
Pages: 74
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Hautala, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-20
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Iivari, Netta
Reviewer: Iivari, Netta
Kinnula, Marianne


At the beginning of the year 2020, the whole world was in shock after experiencing a global pandemic, COVID-19. In many countries the circumstance led to isolation, people had to stay home and rely on technology in their normal activities. The digitalized world helps in that situation since using and adopting new technology has become natural for most of people globally.

This study examines how the COVID-19 has impacted the lives of young adults, having the focus on smartphone usage and adoption during the pandemic time. The previous research on the topic is still quite tenuous and contradictory, so this study reinforces the understanding of the theme. In the empirical research Finnish and Japanese university students are being interviewed and the data is analysed taking existing literature into account. The objective is to determine the possible changes in smartphone adoption and usage during the isolation caused by the pandemic. Also, the cultural perspective is considered by focusing on Finnish and Japanese smartphone users.

The aspect of technology adoption is not a new one being studied for many years. Adding also attitudinal and behavioural perspectives may lead to more complicated and expandable models that try to give a better understanding of why people choose to adopt or reject the technology. It’s not simple why people behave like they do when encountering technology, particularly in a special situation like during a COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study show that both Finnish and Japanese university students have adopted smartphones well before the pandemic, so using them during the COVID-19 along with computers has not caused any major problems concerning the tasks that were traditionally performed without the devices. As the previous literature states, the importance of technology increased when the pandemic started to spread. However, the comparison of computers and smartphones turned out to be an important aspect when studying smartphone usage during the pandemic time. Many mobile applications had become less important since all the contacts were using computers because of remote work and studies. The pandemic situation had changed the platform of communication and other actions partly from the smartphone to the computer.

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Copyright information: © Jenni Hautala, 2022. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.