Fifty percent of smartphone users ‘hooked’ on their device

Ofcom have released their twelfth annual Communications Market report, supporting Ofcom’s regulatory goal to research markets and to remain at the forefront of technological understanding.

Two thirds of people now own a smartphone, using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank and shop online.

The Report finds that a third (33%) of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30% who are still sticking with their laptop.

Meanwhile, a third (33%) of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30% who are still sticking with their laptop.


The report reveals that half of smartphone users admit to actually being “hooked” on their handsets, rising to six in ten (61%) of young people.

Half of young people aged 18-24 check their phone within five minutes of waking up, often text messaging before breakfast. And they stay connected as they turn in for the night, with two fifths of young people checking their phone five minutes before going to sleep.

We’re increasingly relying on our phones to get around, be entertained and even help dodge the rain.

On average, people have 17 apps on their smartphone, with social networking and weather apps the most popular – present on three out of five smartphones (62%). Over half (58%) of people turn to a map app to help them find a restaurant, the nearest supermarket or just get around town.

Smartphone Apps Downloaded

Gaming, music and social media apps are proving particularly popular among young people, with 85% of smartphones owned by 16-24 year olds now featuring a social media app. Seven out of ten (71%) smartphones owned by this age group also have gaming apps and two thirds of young people (65%) have music apps downloaded.

But, despite its increasing popularity for gaming, music and surfing the web, the smartphone remains primarily a communications device. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the time spent on a smartphone is on messaging, emailing, social networking or a call.

Proportion Smartphone

Mobile Manners

Tweeting or updating social media status when sitting down to dinner remains a no-no for most people.

Over half of people (55%) think it’s unacceptable to pick up your phone alongside your knife and fork. Yet four in ten people admit to doing so.

Most people also think it’s unacceptable to check your phone when in the cinema (60%). This falls to 26% when out with friends, 11% when watching TV, and 5% when on public transport.

Smartphones at dinner

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