Are we a nation of Smartphone addicts? New report from Ofcom published
New Ofcom research published
today (4th August 2011) reveals the extent to which the UK has become "addicted"
to smartphones. The Ofcom Communications Market report looks at the huge growth
in smartphone take-up in the past 12 months - over one in four (27 per cent) GB adults and almost half of teens
(47%) now own one - and how the devices
have affected people's lives. The rapid growth in the use of smartphones, which offer internet access, email and a variety of internet-based applications, is clearly changing the way many of us, particularly teenagers, act in social
The report also looks at the
rise in Internet use, TV, Radio and
other key market developments in the UK. The
full document can be read here
Mobile Phone, Smartphones
and Internet Access
- Nine out of ten people own a mobile
phone (36 per cent in 2000, 91 per cent in 2011) - and one in seven
households are now mobile-only, as the penetration of landlines dropped
from 93 per cent in 2000 to 81 per cent in 2011;
- An average of five text messages per
day were sent for every person in the UK last year.
- Over a quarter of adults and now own a
- 37 per cent of adults are ‘highly
addicted' to their Smartphone
- 28 per cent of UK adults
people use their mobile phones for internet access.
- Over half (55%) of adults and
three-quarters (74%) of teens have used their smartphone for social
networking, with 40% of adults and 62% of teens doing this regularly
- The majority of homes in the UK are now
connected to the internet with 91%
of households with children have internet access.
Teenagers use of Smart
Nearly half of all teens (47%) now own a smartphone
60 per cent of teens are ‘highly addicted' to their Smartphone.
- Teenage girls
are more addicted to their phones than boys (53% say they have ‘high addiction' across all mobile phones,
compared to 38% among boys).
BlackBerry handsets are the most popular choice among teens (37%). Female
teens, in particular, appear to have a preference for BlackBerry handsets (44%)
The top three activities/functions used regularly by teens on
Smartphones are social networking (62%), listening to music (62%), and playing
The most popular social networking site used by teens is Facebook (97%).
Twitter comes in second (26%), followed by MySpace (13%) and Bebo (10%).
Eighty-three per cent of teen smartphone social networkers claim to access
social networking via their smartphone at least once a day with 29% using it
every couple of hours of more.
Forty per cent of teen smartphone users are on a contract (significantly
lower than the 77% of adults) compared to 19% of teen standard mobile phone
users. Most teens have their phone bills paid for by adults (82%), although
nearly one in five (18%) claim to pay their phone bill themselves.
The majority of teens make calls every day (56% of smartphone users and
35% of regular phone users). But a significantly higher proportion of teens
send text messages every day (80% of smartphone users and 57% of regular phone
23 per cent of Teenagers claim to watch less TV and 15 per cent admit
they read fewer books since owning a smartphone
In the bathroom and at the
dinner table - use of Smartphones in daily life
The vast majority of
smartphone users (81 per cent) have their mobile switched on all of the time,
even when they are in bed, with four in ten adults (38 per cent) and teens (40
per cent) admitting using their smartphone after it woke them.
Over half (51 per cent) of
adults and two thirds (65 per cent) of teenagers say they have used their
smartphone while socialising with others, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of
adults and a third (34 per cent) of teenagers have used them during mealtimes
and over a fifth (22 per cent) of adult and nearly half (47 per cent) of
teenage smartphone users admitted using or answering their handset in the
bathroom or toilet.
Teenagers are also more
likely to use their smartphone in places they've been asked to switch their
phone off such as the cinema or library - with 27 per cent admitting doing so,
compared with 18 per cent of adults.
Ofcom's research found that
the line between work and social time is also becoming increasingly
blurred. Thirty per cent of smartphone users say they regularly take part
in personal phone calls during working hours, compared with 23 per cent of
regular mobile phone users. However, smartphone users are more likely to
take part in work calls while on holiday or annual leave. Seventy per
cent say they have ever done so, with a quarter (24 per cent) admitting to
doing so regularly, compared with just 16 per cent of ordinary mobile phone
71% of teens with
smartphones generally have their mobile phoned switched on all the time. This
compares to 51% of regular mobile phone users in the same age group.
The research also looked at
the popularity of applications, or ‘apps', among smartphone users and found
that just under half (47 per cent) of adult smartphone users have downloaded an
app - with many people taking advantage of the availability of free apps.
Teenage smartphone owners
are more likely to have paid for an app download (38 per cent) than adult
owners, amongst whom just a quarter (25 per cent) had paid for an app.
Teenagers are most likely
to part with their pocket money for games, with a third (32 per cent) having
paid for at least one game. Music is the next most popular genre amongst teens
with 22 per cent having paid for a music-based app.
Adults are also most likely
to pay for games (15 per cent) and music (8 per cent) apps, with maps/
navigation following close behind (7 per cent).
Nine out of ten adults (90 per cent) aged 35-44 have the
internet at home, this falls to just a quarter (26 per cent) of over 75s.
And while virtually all (99
per cent) 25-34s own a mobile phone, only half (51 per cent) of over 75s own a
mobile, with this age group more likely to have a landline (94 per cent) than
16-24s (67 per cent).
When asked what media would
be missed the most, people aged over 75 are also far more likely to miss their
TVs the most (65 per cent), followed by radio (15 per cent) and
newspapers/magazines (8 per cent). The picture is very different for
young adults aged 16-24 who would most miss their mobile phone (28 per cent),
followed by the internet (26 per cent) and TV (23 per cent).
However, there is evidence
that older age groups are catching up in the adoption of technology. For
the first time, over half (55 per cent) of those aged 65-74 have access to the
internet at home while over three quarters (77 per cent) now have a mobile.
Some material adapted