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Ofcom’s communications market report: smartphones are the most popular online devices

posted on 25 August, 2015   (public)

Ofcom’s communications market report: smartphones are the most popular online devices

Smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular device for surfing online, Ofcom research has revealed, with record ownership and use transforming the way we communicate. Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report, published on 6 August, 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. Five key-findings result from this document:

  • Time spent online on mobile devices far outstrips time spent online on desktop devices

"In March 2015 users spent an average of 58 hours 39 minutes browsing or using apps on smartphones, compared to 31 hours 19 minutes browsing on laptops and desktop computers."

  • There is still significant growth in tablet usage among some demographics

"Although over-55s are the age group least likely to own a tablet, ownership here has increased more than nine-fold in the three years to Q1 2015 (from 4% to 37%)."

  • Google and Facebook dominate time spent on mobile

"Market researcher eMarketer says that together, Facebook and Google will capture more than half of the $69 billion world-wide mobile-advertising market this year. Google leads with 35% share, but Facebook is growing faster."

  • Mobile devices represent an opportunity for publishers

Many people in the UK, particularly younger demographics (29 percent), actively choose to consume news content on their mobile devices. So Facebook is especially well-placed to eke out even more of the digital ad market, an environment in which most UK publishers are finding it notoriously difficult to monetise.

  • Changes in viewing habits

The report also highlights that in 2014 the average number of minutes of broadcast TV, watched on a TV set, was 11 minutes less than in 2013. The fall, of 4.9% year on year, represents the second consecutive year of decline.

Source: Ofcom site