The rise of the smartphone
Ofcom’s latest market research revealed that the UK is a smartphone society. At the end of last year, online polls revealed that smartphone usage had overtaken both laptops and PCs for access to the internet, and the numbers are still rising. So what does it mean for us?
Smartphones make our life, and our entertainment, truly mobile. They offer instant access to news, music, online banking, video recording, cameras, e-books and even documents on the go. According to surveys, over two thirds of people in the UK now own a smartphone and use it for up to two hours every day. In fact, our time spent online every day has doubled in the past decade, thanks to smartphones. The surge in smartphone usage is attributed to 4G mobile broadband, providing faster online access on the go. During 2014 alone, 4G subscriptions leapt from 2.7 million to 23.6 million after 12 months.
The smartphone has also changed the way we communicate. 33% of people surveyed agreed that their smartphone was ‘their most important device’, and that they used it more for internet communication than they did for making phone calls. Interestingly, over half of people surveyed (55%) think it’s unacceptable to pick up your phone whilst eating, yet 42% of people admitted to checking their phone at the dinner table, according to Ofcom’s online poll. Yet in spite of our ever increasing smartphone use, birthday messages still apparently require more than a virtual greeting. The traditional card remains the most popular way to wish someone a happy birthday, with 38% of people still posting cards, compared to 15% who wish happy birthday via social media and just 7% via text.
Other aspects of our lives are changing too, as we go mobile. 55% of people surveyed preferred to shop online, as well as watch TV online (57%), plus 28% of people make calls over the internet rather than over the phone. Instant messaging has also overtaken texting for some users, with some 63% surveyed preferring services such as WhatsApp to communicate. 60% of adults in an online poll also use their smartphone as their main camera, and an estimated 1.2 billion ‘selfies’ were taken in 2015 – 17 million of which were uploaded to social media.
The trend for using one device for everything is clear. With over 1.6 million apps available for smartphone users, will we need other devices? Some say that video cameras, remote controls, laptops and even traditional tools such as spirit levels are all now obsolete. And as 4G coverage increases, it will be even faster for people to download, browse and stream via their smartphone. The future truly is mobile.
What do you think about the rise of the smartphone? Do you do all your communication online, or do you prefer traditional methods? At Opinion Outpost we love hearing what you have to say! Did you know you can share your views whilst earning money in your spare time? Take paid surveys and earn cash and rewards from home, or on the go, by joining Opinion Outpost’s panel for FREE.