The sale of smartphones is expected to grow as more than half of Australian mobile population will own a smartphone within the next year, according to Telstra’s Smartphone Index.

On behalf of Telstra, The Nielsen Company surveyed 2,800 Australians in June 2010 and found that currently 36 per cent of Australians with mobile phones own a smartphone.

Rebekah O'Flaherty, Telstra consumer executive director, said the increasing interest in smartphones is reflecting on its sales.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen huge growth in the popularity of smartphones and they now make up more than half of all Next G handset sales in Telstra Stores Australia-wide,” she said.

The survey also revealed that smartphone ownership is changing the way Australians access online content.

“Telstra’s Smartphone Index suggests smartphones are beginning to eclipse PCs as the preferred way of accessing certain online content,” O’Flaherty said.. “Almost one in four smartphone owners visit social networking sites like Facebook on their mobiles more than on a computer.”