U.K. report on smartphones and teens: 15 percent say they read fewer books because of their smartphones
Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported on research conducted by British communications watchdog, Ofcom. Ofcom’s findings included the following statistics on teenagers and smartphone usage in the U.K.:
Almost a quarter of teenagers reported that they watch less television due to having a smartphone, while 15 percent say they read fewer books because of their phone
27 percent of teenagers use their smartphones in venues where they have been asked to turn them off (e.g., movies and libraries)
Almost 20 percent of adults also said that they are likely to secretively use their smartphones in supposedly quiet venues
Nearly two-thirds of teenagers are “highly addicted” to smartphones
One-third of teens say that they are likely to use a smartphone during mealtimes
One in four adults and almost half of all teenagers (12 to 15 years old) own a smartphone.
UK consumers continue to purchase new communications technologies. Over a quarter (27%) of adults in the UK say that they now have a smartphone, with the majority claiming to have purchased one in the past year. A third (32%) of homes now claim to have access to HDTV channels in their living room.
There has been massive growth in the time spent on mobile voice calls (up c. 350%) and SMS messages (up c. 2000%), accompanied by a decline in fixed voice calls. However, the total volume of fixed voice minutes is still greater than the volume of mobile voice minutes. Average time spent viewing TV and listening to radio has remained fairly stable, despite the increased availability of other methods of consuming media
The smartphone revolution (page 47)
• There has been a huge growth in smartphone take-up and use in the past 12 months. Twenty-seven per cent of UK adults now claim to own one, with 59% of our sample having bought their phone in the past year (and the volume of data transferred over the UK’s mobile networks increased by 67% during 2010).
• Smartphone users have a much stronger relationship with their phone than regular mobile users. When asked how addicted they are to their mobiles phones, 37% of adult smartphone users admitted high levels of ‘addiction’ to their phone, with this rising to 60% of teen smartphone users.
• Smartphone users get more use from their phone than regular mobile phone users. 81% of smartphone owners make and receive calls on their mobile everyday compared to 53% of regular mobile phone users, while 79% claim to send and receive SMS texts every day, compared to 50% of regular mobile phone users – this is driven by a higher proportion of smartphone users being on a contract.
• Smartphones are changing social habits and etiquette. Over half (51%) of adult smartphone users say they use their phone while socialising and nearly a quarter (23%) use their smartphone during a meal with others. Eighty-one per cent say they have their phone on all the time, while 22% use it in the bathroom – both significantly higher than among regular phone users.
• Teens (aged 12-15) who have grown up as part of the ‘always connected’ society appear to have different standards of social etiquette to adults with greater willingness to use their phone in a public place (63% of teens vs. 44% of adults) and less concern about disturbing others (64% of teens wouldn’t use their phone if it disrupted others, compared to 81% of adults).
• The growing functionality of smartphones is affecting people’s other leisure activities. Over half (55%) of adult smartphone users claim to be doing less of other activities, now that they have a smartphone. This is even greater among teens, with 68% of teen smartphone users claiming to do some activities less than before, such as playing games on a console/PC (30%), taking photos with a camera (30%), using a PC to access the internet (28%), watching TV (23%), and reading books (15%).
• Smartphones have merged people’s home and work lives. Among smartphone users who work, 30% regularly use their phone at work for personal calls, while 35% regularly use their phone for work calls while ‘off duty’. Twenty-four per cent say they use their phone for work while on leave.
Key points: internet and other web-based content
• Over a quarter of all UK advertising spend is on the internet. Advertising spend on the internet grew by 16% in 2010 to over £4bn, accounting for 26% of total advertising spend in the UK, marginally ahead of television. Mobile advertising increased by 121% in 2010 to reach £83m.
• More than three-quarters of UK households have home internet access. PC-based internet take-up was 77% in Q1 2011 (up from 73% a year previously). More than two-thirds (67%) of households have a fixed broadband connection and 17% have a mobile broadband (dongle) connection. In Q1 2011, 26% of over-75s had home internet access (up from 23% a year previously), as did 55% of 64-74 year-olds (up from 51%).
• Over a quarter of people use their mobile phones for internet access In Q1 2011, 28% of UK adults claimed to access internet services on their mobile phone, up from 22% a year previously.
• The most popular claimed use of the internet on mobile phones was social networking services… (used by 57% of mobile phone internet users), ahead of sending/receiving emails (53%) and using search (42%). Mobile users of Facebook spent an average of 5.6 hours on the site in December 2010 (11 minutes a day).
• …but growth of social networking on fixed connections slows. In Q1 2011 46% of UK adults claimed to use social networking services on a home internet connection, up from 40% a year previously. But there are signs that the growth of social networking may be reaching saturation point: total time spent on social networking sites was just 1.3% higher in April 2011 than in April 2010, and only 3% of people without a social networking profile said they were interested in having one.
• Consumers use a wide range of devices to access the internet at home. In 2010, 69% said they accessed the internet at home via a laptop or PC, 31% via a mobile phone, 9% via a games console, 6% via a portable media player and 4% of households with an e-reader. WiFi routers were used by 75% of broadband households in Q1 2011 (up from 66% in Q1 2010).
• Google has the largest reach, Facebook leads by time spent. Search giant Google had the highest reach of any online brand, with 79% of active internet users visiting its homepage, averaging 133 visits in April 2011. Facebook was easily the most popular website in terms of time spent on PCs, accounting for 169 million hours in April 2011 (more than two-and-a-half hours for every person in the UK), ahead of eBay (30 million hours) Google (28 million hours) and YouTube (22 million hours).