Get mobile! Ofcom data highlights the Smartphone is the digital tool of choice

The latest research from Ofcom suggests that smartphones have edged ahead of laptops for the first time as the preferred devices for connecting online in the UK.

The research reveals that 33% of Britons opted for smartphones as the device of choice in 2014, ahead of 30% who preferred laptops. This truly is a landmark moment in how we interact with digital communications.


Collated data also suggests that in 2014 Britons took 1.2bn selfies! This shows a huge cultural shift  in how we use devices and the content we choose to share. Essentially the data provided by Ofcom reveals that 31% of Britons had taken a picture of themselves in the past year, with one in 10 adults taking at least one per week.

This is important to consider in how we use communications to engage people. It's now socially acceptable to take selfies and share the content and with smartphones now providing larger memory options as well as better 4G connectivity to cloud saving options, we have to ensure that we are aware of changing attitudes and communicate with audiences in the way they want to do so. 


Ofcom research found that the smartphone has become more popular than the digital camera for taking and storing photos in 2014, with 60% of adults and 89% of 16 to 24 year olds using their phone for photography.

The report states that UK adults spent nearly two hours a day on average using the internet on their phones. So the big question sits, is your website mobile responsive and are you ensuring the  information is easy to find on your website. The smartphone has enabled us to data-snack on the go and it's important that visitors to your website have a 'tasty' experience!

The Ofcom report states that by the end of 2014, 23.6 million people were using 4G mobile internet and more than half of them were using it to shop online. The study also found that 4G users did more banking, instant messaging and video clip watching on their phones than those without.

Consider that 90% of homes in Britain now have 4G access and that figure is set to rise to 98% by the end of 2017. It is interesting that half of all British households now have at least one tablet device, however these devices tend to remain at home using WiFI, with the smartphone as the preferred mobile device for connecting to the web.

So what does this mean for small business owners? Digital habits are changing and will continue to do so. You can't afford to be the last one to enter the 'party', as your competitors will already be there. If you do arrive last, it's important that you jump to the front as new technology is introduced you can't afford to left alone whilst everyone else advances on to the next big thing.

And, trust us, the next big thing is around the corner. Intelligent design will be the next big thing and that will change the web as we know it.

Read the Ofcoms Communications Market Report here.

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