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Britain: A nation addicted to smartphones


Over a quarter of all adults in Britain now own smartphones, according to new research from Ofcom, the country’s independent communications regulator. Among teenagers the proportion is almost doubled to 47 percent. Nearly 60 percent of all smartphone users have moved up from a dumbphone within the last twelve months.

The report also looks at the changes that have transformed the market during the past decade. The majority of homes are now connected to the internet (25 percent in 2000, 76 percent in 2011). The relatively recent adoption of smartphones has led to a forty-fold increase in mobile data consumption between 2007 and 2010. And take-up of new technology is speeding up. While it took 15 years for half the UK population to get a mobile and 14 years to adopt multi-channel TV, newer technologies such as online catch-up TV and social networking websites reached this landmark in just four years.

Older people, as might be expected, are losing out on many of the advantages of technology. While 90 percent of adults aged 35-44 have home internet, less than 26 percent of over 75s are connected. Encouraging, however, there is evidence that older age groups are catching up. For the first time, over half of people aged between 75 and 74 have home internet access while over three quarters of them also own a mobile.


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