Mobile officially becomes UK adults preferred method of accessing the web

Smartphones have officially narrowly defeated laptops and desktops in the battle for British hearts and minds, as 2017 saw them become the preferred method of accessing the internet.

The figures, from eMarketer’s latest time spent forecast, show that UK adults now spend an average of one hour and 59 minutes a day on their smartphones, beating that spent on desktops/laptops by one minute.

The marketing research company expects that number to keep growing; it is predicting that daily time spent on smartphones will hit two hours and 14 minutes in 2019. 

Video and social

In 2017, UK adults spend a whopping average nine and a half hours a day with major media, up 0.5% from the previous 12 months. Digital media, which includes mobile, accounts for half of that media time.

While the consumption share of traditional media has fallen slightly, TV has remained steady at around 32% of total media time.

So, what is accounting for the growth in time spent staring at our phones will our hands go numb?

The figures, it is the rise in digital video viewing and the popularity of messaging apps that are the key causes of the continuing rise in smartphone use. UK adults will spend 31 minutes a day on average watching digital videos on their phones, up 13.5% from 2016.

34 minutes of the average hour a day spent on social networks is now done via smartphones.

“Mobile use is increasingly coming to mean smartphone use in the UK, so it’s no surprise to see the time spent forecast tilting ever-more in that direction,” said eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher.

“The trend within this trend is the growth in social media and video time. More than any other media on any other device, UK adults are migrating their social media and video habits to smartphones.” 

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