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Study finds that UK has a smartphone addiction

Girl with smartphone

Study finds that UK has a smartphone addiction

A new report from Deloitte has shown that Brits are addicted to their mobile phones, with around one in three having an obsession so intense that they need to check for messages in the middle of the night.

Statistics from the report suggest that over 37 million people in the UK own a smartphone, which is the equivalent to 81% of the entire population. Furthermore, it is estimated that as many as 90% of all 16-24 year olds own one of the devices, which is more that the number that own a laptop computer (81%).

Whenever something new is presented to someone, they become obsessed with it for a period of time, counting down the seconds until they can get back to that item. For Britain, it seems that this period of obsession is unlikely to die down anytime soon.

In its research, Deloitte suggests that one of the factors behind Brits’ obsession with these devices is that they still feel relatively new. The smartphone has been available for purchase in the UK for about nine years now, which seems like a long time to be hooked on something.

However, it may be the nature of the market and industry that has kept adding fuel to the fire. Every couple of months, manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung release the latest model of smartphone, each with new and exciting features that previous models do not have. This keeps the sense of newness going, which in turn fuels the addiction.

Smartphones have become a very integral part of everyday life. One in ten users instinctively check their devices as soon as they wake up for reasons other than switching off their alarms. A third have the urge to check them within five minutes of waking up, with over half checking messages, social media and emails within 15 minutes of waking.

The devices have become so habitual to the daily life of Brits that they are checked in all social situations, including while watching television, spending time with friends and dining at a restaurant.

Access to top-notch internet speeds is another reason why smartphones are popular with the nation, as 4G network usage is at an all-time high in the country. Deloitte’s research shows that 54% of smartphone users are currently connected to a 4G network, with that figure likely to rise in the near future.

Businesses are acknowledging this urge to be constantly attached to their devices, so they are making sure that their companies are searchable and accessible on mobile devices.

Alan Littler
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