For the first time, Brits are now using the internet more on their smartphones than on their laptops. Do you do most of your browsing on your phone?
Phones have now leap-frogged laptops to become the most popular device for going online, according to Ofcom’s latest research. It’s a good job the new Which? Convo will be optimised for mobile browsers…
Smartphone’s aren’t a runaway winner, with 33% of internet users saying that their phone is their top browsing device, compared to 30% sticking with their laptop. But that’s still quite the change from last year, where 40% preferred to use their laptop compared to just 22% turning to their phones.
The UK’s now a smartphone society
I’ve seen the change in my own behaviour too. Disregarding my use of a desktop at Which? HQ to work on Which? Convo, I’m mostly on my smartphone. Checking Which? websites, looking at my emails, taking a peek at Facebook, browsing stories on Reddit, sending messages on WhatsApp.
And I’m using my laptop less and less. It’s handy for watching Netflix or for when I need to work from home, but even the first of those tasks is starting to be fulfilled by my tablet. Could I live without my laptop? Probably not, but mobile devices are gradually chipping away at my laptop’s raison d’etre.
The surge is apparently due to 4G mobile broadband. 4G users are watching more online videos, doing more online shopping and doing more online banking than their 3G cousins. I guess I’ll have to put a 4G phone on my Christmas wish list this year.
The elephant in the room is whether all this smartphone use is a good thing. Apart from your own health (I spend way too long looking at screens), there are manners to think of. Although four in ten people admit to checking their phone at the dinner table, more than half think it’s unacceptable to do so. On that point, I’m very much in favour of a smartphone amnesty in restaurants – pop all your phones on the table and don’t reach for them until the bill’s paid. That keeps all conversations at the table, rather than over the airwaves.
Are you doing more of your internet browsing on your smartphone? What role does your laptop or PC play in your life, and has that changed over the past few years?
Which device do you MOST use to go online?
Desktop PC (46%, 1,040 Votes)
Laptop (39%, 887 Votes)
Tablet PC (8%, 187 Votes)
Smartphone (6%, 134 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,248