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Smartphone and tablet computer ownership is rocketing

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  Well over half (58 per cent) of the mobile phones in the UK are now smartphones, and one in five adults (20 per cent) now owns a tablet computer. Those are some of the results of new research carried out for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) and carried out by YouGov.  

MOA Executive Director John Cooke said: “The speed with which people are adopting this new technology has been phenomenal. Comparing this latest data with previous research from Ofcom suggests that ownership of smartphones in the UK has increased by nearly 50 per cent and that of tablets by over 80 per cent in less than a year”.  

He added: “Even more important than the figures on ownership is the way these devices are changing consumer behaviour. People are increasingly choosing to use mobile devices to access the Internet, even when they have a fixed connection available. It’s not surprising that email and accessing social networking sites are the most popular activities for mobile broadband, but we are also looking at maps and finding directions, checking train and bus times, and shopping.  

The MOA/YouGov research involved 2,504 respondents and took place in September 2012. It shows that:  

•             58% of mobile phones are smartphones

•             20% of people own a tablet

•             11% of people have a ‘dongle’, modem stick or data card for mobile broadband usage

•             emailing (43%) and accessing social networks (40%) are the most popular activities for mobile phone users - people report being in contact with friends and family as the main benefit of mobile phones

•             over a third of us use mobiles to look at maps and find directions and nearly a third of us (28%) check bus, train or flight times this way

•             smartphones and tablets are affecting the way we shop. Ten per cent of people buy goods and services via a tablet, and 13 per cent do so using a mobile.

•             Around three-quarters of users recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage, and say that having a good mobile signal is important to them personally.  

John added: “It’s important that the planning system supports the deployment of mobile infrastructure, particularly with the advent of 4G mobile services, because without that infrastructure, people won’t be able to use their mobile devices as they want to and as they are increasingly doing.”  

Notes to Editors:  

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (the company that runs EE, Orange & T-Mobile in the UK), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  

2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,504 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th and 11th September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of UK adults (aged 18+). All respondents in the survey owned a mobile phone.

3. Ofcom data is from the Communications Market Report (CMR)(2012) http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr12/CMR_UK_2012.pdf

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

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