Economy, Sci & Tech

Study: Britons Prefer Smartphones to Laptops

Study: Britons Prefer Smartphones to LaptopsStudy: Britons Prefer Smartphones to Laptops

Smartphone users spend almost two hours (114 minutes) every day using the Internet on their mobile phone, almost twice as much time as the average adult spends going online via a PC or laptop (69 minutes).

Britain's Office of Communications has released the latest Market Report, Tech UK writes, which shows that smartphones are now UK adults’ preferred devices for connecting online, overtaking laptops for the first time.

According to the report, smartphones are the primary online device for 33% of UK consumers, while only 30% get online more with their laptops.

However, Ofcom also highlighted changing TV viewing patterns, with most 16-24 year olds found to watch on-demand and catch up programs on computers and smartphones rather than on a TV connected to a set-top box.

Smartphones also push digital cameras on their way out, since now smartphones take more photos than any other device. For instance, according to Ofcom’s estimates, the Brits took around 1.2 billion selfies in the past year.

Jane Rumble, Ofcom head of media research, said: “You can see these devices are becoming more and more an important vital hub of information and communication throughout the day."

More people prefer to surf the web while on the move, with a big increase in ownership of portable devices in the last four years. This addictive nature means that nearly one-in-three UK smartphone users check their phone within five minutes of waking up in the morning, a figure that rises to 48% for the youngest age bracket. The rise in popularity of using the phones to go online could stem the growth of tablets that have surged in popularity over recent years. There was more sympathy with smartphone use when socializing with friends (which 26% thought unacceptable), or while using public transport (which only 5% frowned on).

“Today’s report shows just how important reliable, fast Internet access is to millions of consumers and businesses”, said Ofcom CEO Sharon White.

This is the first time smartphones have become more popular than laptops in Britain.

All this 4G smartphone goodness does not seem to be making it onto the bottom line for UK operators, however, with 2014 continuing the trend of declining revenues.