Does your mobile phone have a QR Code reading function? graph of japanese statisticsIt’s been a couple of years since the last time I had a look at a survey on QR Codes, so it was nice to see this one from Marsh Inc and reported on by


Between the 18th and 21st of June 2009 300 members of the Marsh monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, 0.3% were in their teens, 19.7% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, 20.0% in their fifties, and 20.0% aged sixty or older.

I most often read QR Codes from advertising leaflets, usually encoding an email address that allows me to sign up to a mailing list to get a discount coupon for a restaurant I’m visiting. A few months ago I used one to enter a competition, and won 2,500 yen’s worth of food vouchers.

Just last month I wanted to read the QR Codes of friends from Nokia’s laptop computers – they were some sort of inventory tag, but they didn’t want to let me just in case it contained confidential information, but I did think sticking a 10 centimetre square tag on a computer case was hardly the way to handle such information! They checked with their Nokia app, and it was just a boring vCard-type tag.

Research results

Q1: Does your mobile phone have a QR Code reading function? (Sample size=300)

Yes (to SQ1) 78.3%
No 7.3%
Don’t know, don’t remember 9.0%
Don’t have a mobile phone 5.3%

Q1SQ1: Have you ever used the QR Code reading function on your mobile phone? (Sample size=235)

Yes (to SQ2) 84.7%
No 13.6%
Don’t remember 1.7%
Don’t know what a QR Code is 0.0%

I don’t know how anyone could choose the last answer in Q1SQ1 as they’d have had to know what a QR Code function was to get there from Q1!

Q1SQ2: From where have you read a QR Code using your mobile phone? (Sample size=199, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Advertising leaflet 116 58.3%
Computer display 111 55.8%
Newspaper, magazine 102 51.3%
Product label, packaging 84 42.2%
Poster 66 33.2%
Paper print-out 41 20.6%
Business card 20 10.1%
Mobile phone display 13 6.5%
Vending machine 9 4.5%
Other 3 1.5%
Categories: MobilePolls


Joe · July 16, 2009 at 09:40

I believe QR Code will be the ‘code’ of the future because it can contain so much more information than the conventional codes that we’re using. Recently, we came up with a marketing campaign using for the QR Code and we tried to educate people about how useful these codes are. Slowly but surely…..we’re on our way, I would say.

craig aberle · February 15, 2010 at 06:48

I am ready to see this technology used more in the US. Advertisers are missing out on a good thing.

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