Deloitte: 44% of young UK people addicted to mobile

29 September 2015 4 min. read

Almost half (44%) of young people living in the UK pick up their phone more than 50 times per day, Deloitte’s latest survey of phone user habits shows. The most common time to use a smartphone is on public transport, when more than 40% very often used their device, whilst driving is one of the times of least use. The morning remains an active time, with 55% of all users checking their device within 15 minutes of waking.

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.

Smartphones are used by tens of millions of people across the UK; they regularly spend the whole day with their users and are collectively looked at over a billion times per day. The devices are often used to fleet away those moments of boredom, connect with friends or the plethora of other reasons users reach for their phone.

Smartphone use during other activities

Smart attention
The times of least use involve moments when other activities require full attention, such as business meetings when only 40% ever use their phones and only 12% at least sometimes do. Those dangerous moments of crossing the road, also see few users active on their phones – even as almost 5% admit to doing so at least very often. Although driving is the time of least smart phone activity, just over 12% admit to using their phone sometimes.

In situations when very little attention is needed from the world or towards it, smartphone use seems to increase dramatically. In public transport for instance, nearly 15% always pulls out their phone, 25% often do so and a total of 70% at least sometimes uses their phone. More than 60% of users also reports using their phones at work sometimes, with nearly 30% often doing so. Smartphones also tend to compete relatively well with the TV. The report finds that more than 22% of users very often or almost always use their phone in front of the TV although these figures change considerably, depending on age.

Smart phone use while watching TV

Dual screen television
The use of smartphones while watching TV is not a very common occurrence among the 65-75 age group. In this group, only 7% of phone users almost always or often use their phone and 23% say they sometimes do so. In the 18-24 age group, on the other hand, 35% have their phone out almost always or very often during their TV watching time, with around 70% at least sometimes or occasionally using their phone in front of the set. From 25 onwards however, phone use in front of the TV slopes downward in favour of never.

Addictive glances
As part of the research, the consulting firm explores the behaviour of users across different age categories for their level of smartphone use. Particularly the 18–24 age group has a high level of phone checking. Over a quarter (27%) of this group, says they look at their phone at between 25 and 50 times per day and 16% check their phone between 51 and 100 times. 4% say they pick up their device more than 200 times a day. The 55+ age group has the largest number of users (46%) check their phone less than 10 times per day, while 30% say they check their phone 11 to 25 times per day and only 4% say they check their phone more than 50 times per day. Across all age groups the largest number of users (28%) checks their phone between 11 and 25 times per day, while 20% do so 25–50 times.

Daily phone look frequency

At can and can’t
Checking ones phone before bed and early in the morning – besides shutting off the alarm – has also become a common phenomenon among users in the UK. On waking in the morning, 12% of users check their phones immediately, up from 11% last year. Over a third (35%) picks up their phone within 5 minutes of waking and within 15 minutes, more than half (55%) of users have checked their phones, 7% more than last year.

For a small number of users (10%), their phone is the last thing they see before preparing to go to bed, while for 28% use it within the last 5 minutes of doing so. Almost two thirds (61%) of all users check their phone within 30 minutes of preparing to go to bed, and 91% of users do so within three hours. 

Phone use at can and cant

Commenting on the results, Paul Lee, Head of TMT research at Deloitte, says: “The modern, touchscreen-based smartphone is less than a decade old, but it is more intertwined with our lives than ever. Constant technological improvements are allowing us to delegate more and more tasks to our phones, from ordering taxis to browsing catalogues and paying for a meal. The frequency of consumers glancing at their smartphones arguably makes it one of the best value devices available.”