More than 76% of UK consumers own or have access to a smartphone, a 24% increase on 2012, research by Deloitte shows. Tablets are, however, enjoying the biggest boom, with ownership and access up from 16% in 2012 to 60% today. The rise in mobile technology ownership is partly due to their ease of operation and mobility above traditional PCs. Mobile devices allow users to perform many tasks traditionally linked to their big brother devices, with their in the pocket nature making them more personal.
For its most recent ‘Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey’, Deloitte asked Ipsos Mori to survey 49,000 smartphone users around the globe on their use habits. The samples discussed in this article relate to the 4,000 UK respondents who were between 18 and 75.
One of the questions explored relates to the penetration of different kinds of mobile technology used by consumers in the UK, and the changes over the past four years. Of the mobile devices, laptops, smartphones and tablets, the latter has seen the most significant rise. Ownership or ready-to-hand access of tablets increased from 16% in 2012 to 60% this year, a jump of 44%. Smartphone penetration also increased from 52% in 2012 to 76% today, while laptop ownership and access is up slightly, from 73% to 79%.
According to the research, the way in which the devices are being used is also changing. PCs used to be the go to machines to check our emails or make online bookings. The PC revolutionised the way many people interacted with businesses. However, the dominance of using PCs in this way is coming under threat from the more mobile smartphone and tablet. Smartphones in particular, and tablets to a lesser extent, are coming to take over the role traditionally associated with the internet – such as the buying takeaway food through apps or ordering things online. The result is that these mobile devices have become more personal than the traditional PC as they can be carried with their user, something that results in many UK youngsters being addicted to their phone.
According to the report, our reliance on the technology is only expected to increase over the coming decade as accessibility becomes ever more pervasive; with 4G connectivity, new forms of Wi-Fi and improvements to voice of IP. According to the authors: “Falling prices for solid state memory will encourage us to store more of our digital baggage, in the forms of conversations, photos and videos. Advances in glass technology should make screens more responsive and more resilient. There is plenty to look forward to — and there is ample further distraction.”