UK ‘has never been more ad­dicted to smart­phones’

Malta Independent - - HEALTH -

If you’ve ever wo­ken up in the mid­dle of the night and im­me­di­ately checked your phone then you’re not alone.

Peo­ple in the UK have never been more ad­dicted to their smart­phones, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Deloitte.

One in three adults check for mes­sages at night, and ad­mit their overuse is caus­ing rows with their part­ners.

For some, FOMO - or the fear of miss­ing out - leaves them in the grip of an ad­dic­tion to their de­vices, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey.

“What smart­phones en­able peo­ple to do is to keep tags of what’s hap­pen­ing, what peo­ple are say­ing, what peo­ple are post­ing. You can do that through­out the day and what smart­phones are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to do is to do that at night,” Paul Lee, head of tech­nol­ogy, me­dia and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions re­search at Deloitte told To­day. But Mr Lee said the overuse was a “tem­po­rary thing” driven by the rel­a­tive new­ness of smart­phones.

“We’re get­ting used to how to use this tech which let’s re­mind our­selves is just nine years old. When we have some­thing new we tend to over­re­act to it,” he added.

Deloitte’s sixth an­nual Mo­bile Con­sumer Sur­vey an­a­lysed the mo­bile phone habits of more than 4,000 UK con­sumers.

Four out of five UK adults now have a smart­phone - equiv­a­lent to 37 mil­lion peo­ple - but de­spite their pop­u­lar­ity, the re­port warned the smart­phone mar­ket was reach­ing sat­u­ra­tion point.

Growth in new users slowed to 7% in the year to June 2016, from 9% in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

And ac­cord­ing to the study, only a fifth of adults us­ing fea­ture phones said they planned to trade up to a smart­phone.

“It is clear from our re­search that we are reach­ing an age of ‘peak smart­phone’”, Mr Lee said.

“Given the mar­ket sat­u­ra­tion, in the next 12 months, we ex­pect smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion to rise mod­estly, per­haps by no more than two or four per­cent­age points,”

But while pro­duc­ers of some other hand­held gad­gets have strug­gled to per­suade users to keep buy­ing newer mod­els, this is not a prob­lem phone man­u­fac­tur­ers will face, the re­port pre­dicts.

“Smart­phones will not suf­fer the same fate as tablets. The re­place­ment mar­ket is likely to re­main healthy, and given the size­able base of ex­ist­ing own­ers, smart­phone sales are likely to re­main in the tens of mil­lions for the fore­see­able fu­ture,” Mr Lee said. Deloitte’s Key find­ings: One in three UK adults has ar­gued with their part­ner about us­ing their mo­bile phone too much, ac­cord­ing to Deloitte.

The rows were most com­mon among 25-34 year olds the re­port found, while 11% of over 65s ad­mit­ted ar­gu­ments about overus­ing phones.

About a tenth of re­spon­dents ad­mit­ted us­ing their hand­sets “al­ways” or “very of­ten” while eat­ing at home or in restau­rants.

A third said they reg­u­larly used their de­vices while with friends or watch­ing tele­vi­sion.

One in three UK adults - and half of 18-24 year olds - said they checked their phones in the mid­dle of the night, with in­stant mes­sag­ing and so­cial me­dia the most pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties.

One in 10 smart­phone own­ers ad­mit­ted reach­ing for their phone as soon as they woke up - with a third grab­bing the de­vice within five min­utes of wak­ing

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