Mobile browsing now more popular than desktop

Mobile browsing now more popular than desktop

Friday, August 7, 2015
An Ofcom report details the growth of mobile online browsing

Mobile has overtaken desktop as the most popular online platform in the UK according to a new Ofcom report.

The communications regulator revealed that two thirds of people now own a smartphone, using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank, shop – and, of course, gamble.

Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report finds that 33 per cent of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30 per cent who are still sticking with their laptop.The rise in smartphone surfing marks a clear shift since 2014, when just 22 per cent turned to their phone first, and 40 per cent preferred their laptop.

“Smartphones have become the hub of our daily lives and are now in the pockets of 66 per cent of UK adults, up from 39 per cent in 2012,” said an Ofcom spokesperson.

“The vast majority – 90 per cent - of 16-24 year olds own one, but 55-64 year olds are also joining the smartphone revolution, with ownership in this age group more than doubling since 2012, from 19 per cent to 50 per cent.”

William Hill said in April that mobile gaming had increased by 48 per cent in the first quarter of the year to represent 37 per cent of gaming net revenue, while Ladbrokes said that mobile take was up 62.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2014.

Ofcom says that the mobile surge is being driven by the increasing take-up of 4G mobile broadband, providing faster online access, with 4G subscriptions in the UK leaping from 2.7 million to 23.6 million during 2014. However, it also added that television is still the most-viewed gadget in the nation’s homes. 

“We now spend almost twice as long online with our smartphones than on laptops and personal computers,” the spokesperson added. “On average, adult mobile users spent nearly two hours online each day using a smartphone in March 2015 - one hour and 54 minutes - compared to just over an hour on laptops and PCs - one hour and nine minutes.

“But this is still only half of the three hours and 40 minutes we spend in front of the television each day.”

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