Smartphones play key role in UK

03 July 2012

LONDON: Smartphone owners in the UK spend more time using these devices to go online than they do making calls, a study from O2, the mobile telecoms provider, has found.

According to the company's research, the typical smartphone subscriber spends 24.8 minutes per day browsing the internet via their mobile, and a further 17.5 minutes checking social network apps.

These two activities were ahead of listening to music, clocking 15.6 minutes, playing games, on 14.4 minutes and then making calls, taking 12.1 minutes. Reading and writing emails came next on 11.1 minutes.

Elsewhere, text messaging secured a daily total of 10.2 minutes, ahead of watching TV shows and films on 9.4 minutes, reading books on 9.3 minutes, and taking photographs on 3.4 minutes. The cumulative amount of time per day spent on these pastimes stood at 128 minutes.

David Johnson, O2's general manager, devices, suggested mobile phones were becoming increasingly vital to their users.

"While we're seeing no let-up in the number of calls customers make or the amount of time they spend speaking on their phones, their phone now plays a far greater role in all aspects of their lives," he said.

In terms of overall uptake, 74% of interviewees took photos on their phone, 71% made calls, 69% sent messages and surfed the net, 64% used their handset as an alarm clock, and 52% checked emails.

Some 49% logged on to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, 39% listened to music, 38% accessed games, 22% played back television and film content and 13% read books.

More broadly, 54% of the sample now use their phone as an alarm clock, as do 46% when discussing a watch. A further 39% have essentially replaced their camera with their phone.

This figure hit 28% when discussing laptops, 11% with reference to games consoles, and 6% upon looking at the television and hard copy books.

Johnson added: "We're starting to see more and more phones being developed that interact with their users in new and interesting ways. Intelligent voice recognition and eye tracking are making phones even easier to use."

Data sourced from O2; additional content by Warc staff