The UK is officially a smartphone nation with 66% of adults owning a smartphone and more people using it as their primary means of getting online that any other device. The figures come from the Communications Market Report 2015, which is the annual report produced by the UK's digital watchdog Ofcom and seeks to give a snapshot of how people in the UK communicate, get online and watch TV.

The report shows that smartphone ownership among adults aged 16 and over has risen from 39% in 2012 to 66% in the first quarter of 2015. Unsurprisingly the highest rate of ownership comes in 16-24 age bracket, with 90% of people owning smartphones (up from 66% in 2012). It was in the older 55-64 age range that the fastest adoption of these devices has taken place, with 50% currently owning a smartphone compared to just 19% in 2012.

Smartphone vs Laptops
Smartphones have replaced laptops as the primary method of getting online. Ofcom

For the first time smartphones are viewed by more people as the primary device they use to get online ahead of laptops. 33% of those surveyed said they would chose their smartphone as the most important for connecting to the internet, compared to 30% who chose their laptop.

The report says: "On average, adult mobile users spent nearly two hours online each day using a smartphone in March 2015 (1 hour and 54 minutes), compared to just over an hour on laptops and PCs (1 hour and nine minutes)."


As the UK becomes an official smartphone nation, a large proportion of those using these devices would describe themselves as "hooked". Ofcom's research shows that 40% of smartphone users would score themselves a 7 or above when asked to describe how hooked they are on their mobile phone, a figure which rises to 61% for the youngest age bracket (16-24). This addictive nature means that almost one-in-three UK smartphone users check their phone within five minutes of waking up in the morning, a figure that rises to 48% for the youngest age bracket.

The rise of smartphone popularity has coincided with the rapid adoption of 4G technology with 89.5% of UK premises able to access at least one 4G mobile broadband service, with 42% able to choose from all four 4G providers - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

James Thickett, Ofcom director of research, said: "4G has supercharged our smartphones, helping people do everything from the weekly shop to catching up with friends with a face-to-face video call. For the first time, smartphones have overtaken laptops as the UK's most popular internet device and are now the hub of our daily lives."

All of this rapid acceleration in technology and connectivity has seen the amount of time we spend online double in the last decade. The Ofcom reports says: "Internet users aged 16 and above said they spend nearly 10 hours (9 hours and 54 minutes) online each week in 2005. It had climbed to over 20 hours and 30 minutes in 2014. [Last year] saw the biggest increase in time spent online in a decade, with internet users spending over three and a half hours longer online each week than they did in 2013 (20 hours and 30 minutes in 2014, compared to 16 hours and 54 minutes in 2013)."