Deloitte: Smartphones turning into addiction for majority

08 September 2014 2 min. read
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The dependency on mobile services in the UK continues to rise, concludes a new research from Deloitte. Around one out of six adult smartphone users in the UK looks at their mobile more than 50 times a day, and around 30% of users has made it a habit to look at their device within 5 minutes of waking up.

Professional services firm Deloitte has recently released its ‘Mobile Consumer Survey 2014’, in which the advisory firm looked into five key trends in the smartphone market and habits of consumers*. More than 4,000 UK consumers between the age of 18 and 75 participated in the research. The key conclusion is clear: mobile services dependency in the UK continues to rise sharply, and consumers can’t seem to leave their phones alone.

Currently almost 35 million people in the UK own a smartphone. This is more than two out of three UK adults, and an 8% increase from 2013 across all age ranges. The largest increase in smartphone penetration can be found among 55+ year olds, with a growth rate of 10% from last year’s number.

Smartphone Penetration by Age Group

Waking up routine UK
One of the trends researched by Deloitte is the use of smartphones by consumers when waking up. The advisors conclude that about 30% of adult smartphone users look at their device within 5 minutes after waking up, and around 50% within 15 minutes. The highest percentage is found among 18 - 24 year-olds, of whom 67% use their smartphone within the first 15 minutes. Most smartphone users check their phone to see who has been in touch during the night. To do this, the application most used is SMS (first accessed by 33%), followed by email (first accessed by 25%) and social networks (first accessed by 14%).

Interval between waking up and looking at smartphone

The research in addition reveals that smartphones are growing into a habit, or even addiction. Of the 35 million smartphone users, one out of six looks at their smartphone more than 50 times a day, with the highest average (53 times) again found among 18 - 24 year-olds. 65 - 75 year olds have the lowest smartphone checking habit – they check their smartphone on average 13 times a day.

Smartphone - Number of times

“Mobile phones have clearly become something of an addiction for many, and have led to some people looking to unplug their devices and undergo a digital detox. In the UK there are now digital detox camps where you surrender your phone to experience ‘life off the grid’, following the trend in Silicon Valley,” comments Ed Marsden, Lead Telecoms Partner at Deloitte.

* The trends analysed by the researchers were Waking up routine, 4G, the rise of ‘App-athy’, internet only communication, and mobile money.