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Smartphones Become Catch-All Devices for UK Consumers

Time spent with smartphones keeps rising

UK smartphone users spent an average of 119 minutes per day with their devices in May, according to research from O2 and Samsung. Compared with a year earlier, a greater proportion of smartphone users reported using the device for almost every activity they were asked about; only playing games and reading books saw a slight decrease of 1% each.

The greatest proportion of consumers (83%) said they made calls with their phone, but for time spent, making calls was only the fourth most popular smartphone activity. Users spent an average of 13 minutes per day on this activity, the same amount of time spent playing games, and less than the amount of time spent listening to music (15 minutes), checking social networks (16 minutes) and browsing the internet (24 minutes).

According to eMarketer, more than six out of 10 mobile users in the UK will use a smartphone this year. By 2017, 65.8% of the population as a whole will operate smartphones.

The ubiquity of the smartphone has made it the perfect catch-all device to displace many existing devices. For example, 50% of those surveyed by O2 and Samsung had done away with their wristwatch in favor of the phone, 46% went without a separate camera, and 25% used their phone in place of a laptop.

November 2012 research by Ofcom suggests smartphone ownership is the driver for displacing these other activities. Comparing smartphone users with other mobile phone users, those with smartphones were far more likely to engage in every activity listed.


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