Third of UK adults now own a smartphone

By Posted 4 Aug 2011, 09:02

Since Apple first kick started the smartphone market back in 2007 with the launch of the original iPhone, we have seen lots of devices becoming available with many cheaper alternatives especially on the Android platform. This has led to a third of UK adults now owning a smartphone, as they use the devices to access sites such as Facebook.

A recent survey by telecoms regulator Ofcom has also found 60 percent of teenagers saying they are “highly addicted” to their smartphone. Of the people surveyed just under half of teenagers and over a quarter of adults own a smartphone, according to an article on Guardian.co.uk. Interacting with Facebook or reading and sending emails was found to be the biggest use for the handsets.

Owners used their devices in the most unusual places, with 47 percent of teenage users admitting using their smartphones in the toilet, with only 22 percent of adults owning up to the same habit. Teenagers also used their smartphones while eating dinner or watching a movie at the cinema.

The sales of such devices have now overtaken those of feature handsets in the first half of 2011, which mirrors the trend which is happening in the US. Just over half of the 13.6m handsets sales in the first six months of this year were for smartphones. Facebook remained the most popular site visited by mobile users, with around four times the amount spent on the site compared to Google or other sites.

What may worry the likes of Microsoft and Sony is that some respondents said they would ditch games consoles to play games on their smartphones. The big rise in smartphone ownership has put a big strain on the mobile infrastructure, with a 67 percent rise in mobile data.

Luckily operators have been upgrading their networks to try and keep up with demand. Sending SMS messages continue to grow with the average person sending five per day last year, with a total of 129bn sent up 24 percent on the previous year.

Despite the big take-up of mobile devices, the UK public is spending longer in front of the TV with an average of four hours. This has been led by the likes of Sky and the amount of homes with HDTVs, but Freesat HD and Freeview HD have also helped as they are a cheaper option to Sky and Virgin Media.

Of those who own a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 22 percent use the devices for watching video content, with another 22 percent playing online games. A small percentage used their console for browsing the internet, with 9 percent watching the BBC iPlayer. Sales of 3DTVs remain low with only 125,000 out of a total of almost ten million new TVs sold.

Are you addicted to your smartphone?

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