Mobile / Smartphones
eMarketer has significantly increased its projection for UK smartphone users since our April 2012 forecast. Based on new data pointing to faster-than-expected smartphone adoption, eMarketer revised our estimate for the total number of UK smartphone users in 2013 upward by 6.9 million.
UK smartphone users and adoption rate, 2011-2017:
- 2011: 21.6 million (44.1% of mobile phone users / 34.3% of population)
- 2012: 26.4 million (52.5% / 41.7%)
- 2013: 30.9 million (60.4% / 48.4%)
- 2014: 34.6 million (66.7% / 53.7%)
- 2015: 37.8 million (71.7% / 58.2%)
- 2016: 40.7 million (76.6% / 62.2%)
- 2017: 43.4 million (80.9% / 65.8%)
eMarketer projects that by 2014, two out of three mobile phone users and 53.7% of the UK population will use smartphones. By the end of the forecast period, 43.4 million smartphone users will account for nearly 81% of mobile phone users and two-thirds of all people in the UK.
The vast majority of mobile phone users between the ages of 12 and 54 now use smartphones. Between 2011 and 2017, 18- to 24-year-olds will have the highest percentage of smartphone users among mobile phone users, while beginning in 2014 and lasting for the remainder of the forecast period, teens ages 12 to 17 will have the second-highest penetration out of all mobile users. Smartphone users ages 25 to 34 will be right behind in penetration rates. By 2017, smartphone user penetration among mobile phone users ages 12 to 44 will be between 94% and 98%.
Among adults, smartphone usage decreases with age, and this will continue to be the case throughout the forecast period. This year, 62.3% of mobile phone users ages 45 to 54 and 37% of those ages 55 to 64 will own and use a smartphone. eMarketer estimates that only 13% of mobile phone users 65 and older will be smartphone users in 2013. (eMarketer, June 2013)
UK affluents have taken up quickly to smart mobile devices, according to Ofcom data. In terms of smartphones, the figure for affluents was 62%, above all other segments. And tablets have also seen especially high uptake among affluents, although that disparity may close as more mini tablets come to market.
UK smartphone and total mobile phone users, by socioeconomic status, November 2012 (% of respondents in each group):
- AB: 92% total mobile phone users / 62% smartphone users
- C1: 94% / 59%
- C2: 93% / 51%
- DE: 84% / 41%
Total: 92% / 54%
(eMarketer, May 2013)
Six out of 10 UK residents owned a smartphone in January 2013, according to eDigitalResearch and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) (see infographic here). That's up from January 2012, when just over half of the population owned smartphones.
The study found that Samsung has grown its slice of the market most significantly, even as Apple has done a good job of holding onto share.
UK smartphone owners, 2010-2013 (as a % of population):
- 2010: 38%
- 2011: 49%
- 2012: 51%
- 2013: 60%
The makeup of the smartphone audience has also changed during the past few years. While the earliest smartphone adopters tended to be male, females are now much more likely to own a smartphone. In 2013, the study found that 58% of smartphone owners were females, compared with 42% of males.
As smartphones become widespread in the UK, mobile behaviors are becoming more ingrained. According to eDigitalResearch and IMRG, more than half of UK smartphone owners shopped via their device, and more than one-third made purchases in January 2013. While that is a slight decline from 2012, it is clear that mobile buying is getting plenty of attention from consumers, even those who may have only recently converted to smartphones.
UK mobile buyers, 2010-2013 (% of smartphone owners):
- 2010: 23%
- 2011: 32%
- 2012: 38%
- 2013: 34%
eMarketer's estimate for smartphone users in the country is slightly lower, expected to reach 48.4% of the population this year and rise to 54% in 2014. (eMarketer, May 2013)
Access to the internet using a mobile phone in the UK more than doubled between 2010 and 2012, from 24% to 51%, according to the Office of National Statistics. In 2012, 32% of adults accessed the Internet using a mobile phone every day. (Office of National Statistics, February 2013)
There are more screens in the average UK household than ever before, but single-function devices are getting pushed to the periphery, according to an eMarketer report, ‘The UK Multiscreen Household: TV Still Central in the Multidevice Mix.
UK internet users, by access device, October 2012:
- Laptop/netbook: 67%
- Desktop: 49%
- Smartphone: 36%
- Tablet: 13%
- Game console: 8%
- Smart TV: 4%
- Portable media player: 3%
- Ereader: 3%
- Feature phone: 2%
eMarketer defines a screen as an electronic display device used for the consumption of some manner of content (video, gaming, written text and so forth).
Estimates of how many screens one is likely to see in the average UK household vary from four to six. According to Specific Media and Research Now, the average number of connected devices in the UK household in 2012 was 5.5; however, this figure included devices such as connected game consoles, which don't have dedicated screens.
TV still tops the list of media activities for UK internet users, however audience sizes have shrunk substantially. In terms of pervasiveness in the consumer household, PCs and laptops come second only to TVs. According to Ipsos MediaCT, PC/laptop ownership in the UK stood at 75% as of November 2012. But this is partially historical; desktops and laptops have been the second screen for many years now. Only recently have smartphones and tablets become credible screen alternatives or accompaniments to the TV, causing the latest upheaval in household media consumption behavior.
Smartphones are increasingly widespread, with preliminary eMarketer estimates indicating that 48.6% of the total UK population will have access to such a device at least once per month in 2013. In addition, their ability to be most things for most people has them carving out an interesting niche in the consumer household. While smartphones aren't quite big enough to encourage huge uptake of video viewing, what they do offer is "always-on" access to browsing the internet, social networks, playing games and checking emails. Google, via Ipsos MediaCT, in a February 2012 survey found that 54% of UK smartphone internet users watched TV while surfing the web via their phone. (eMarketer, March 2013)
Smartphones are quickly becoming ubiquitous in the UK, according to eMarketer. In April 2012, eMarketer estimated that smartphone penetration in the UK would stand at 30% of the general population by the end of the year. By 2015, more than half the population will use a smartphone.
Number of UK smartphone users and usage level, 2010-2016:
- 2010: 10.2 million (or 16.4% of population)
- 2011: 15.5 million (24.7%)
- 2012: 19.2 million (30.5%)
- 2013: 24.0 million (37.8%)
- 2014: 29.2 million (45.9%)
- 2015: 35.2 million (55.0%)
- 2016: 41.9 million (65.1%)
(eMarketer, January 2013)
The UK is a world leader in mobile adoption and mobile advertising. The UK had 83 million mobile subscribers at the close of 2012, according to January estimates from Portio Research.
Of these, 36 million were smartphones and 47 million were non-smartphones. This represents a market penetration of 130%, according to Portio, which means there isn't much room to add new mobile subscribers. Instead development in the market is happening around the shift toward smartphones and away from feature phones. Portio expects the number of smartphones in use to increase each year, with corresponding decreases in the number of non-smartphones.
UK mobile connections, by device type, 2012, 2013 and 2016:
- 2012: 83 million, including 47 million non-smartphone and 36 million smartphone connections
- 2013: 83 million, including 39 million non-smartphone and 44 million smartphone connections
- 2016: 84 million, including 21 million non-smartphone and 63 million smartphone connections.
These two trends may combine to push UK smartphone penetration above 50% in 2013, the study found. eMarketer's slightly more conservative estimate has UK smartphone user penetration at 45.5% by year end, reaching 55% by 2014.
By 2016, Portio Research expects that roughly three-quarters of UK mobile devices will be smartphones, creating a mobile advertising environment in which smartphones are the rule, not the exception. Portio estimates that there will be 63 million smartphones and 21 million non-smartphones in the UK at that time.
UK smartphone adoption level, 2012, 2013 and 2016:
- 2012: 44% of total mobile connections
- 2013: 53%
- 2014: 75%
According to eMarketer's forecast, UK smartphone penetration will reach 78% of mobile phone users in 2016, continuing to stretch its lead as the country with the highest smartphone penetration in Western Europe. eMarketer projects that the UK's smartphone penetration will overtake the US's in 2016 as well-only South Korea, Japan and Australia will have higher percentages of mobile users on smartphones. (eMarketer, January 2013)
The number of smartphone users in the UK will more than double between 2012 and 2016, from 19.2 million to 41.9 million, according to eMarketer's forecasts. As increasing numbers of consumers in the UK adjust and adapt to these new tools, their behavior will change accordingly.
A recent study of UK mobile internet users by the Direct Marketing Association UK shed some light on how smartphone users in the country are conducting mobile internet searches.
The DMA study found that most UK smartphone users (68%) searched using dedicated apps such as those from Google, Bing, etc. Mobile searchers in the country were also slightly more likely to use a brand or store app (such as one from Amazon or eBay) (37%) than a mobile web browser (35%) to find what they were looking for.
In terms of what they were searching for, 54% of respondents cited news, making it the No. 1 mobile search category. Three out of 10 also said they commonly searched for information on local shopping using their phones - further evidence that mobile and local technologies are a natural fit for each other. Close behind in terms of search popularity were searches for movies and music, at 28% and 27% of respondents, respectively.
Top 6 mobile searches conducted by UK smartphone users, October 2012 (% of respondents):
1. News: 54%
2. High street retailers: 30%
3. Movies: 28%
4. Music: 27%
5. Local travel updates: 24%
6. Finance and insurance: 15%
As for why respondents were searching in the first place, practical considerations dominated. The top reason listed for using mobile search was for offers and deals, cited by 50% of respondents. Directions came in just 6 percentage points behind, followed by a desire to find information about a brand (40%)-a finding sure to be of particular interest to marketers. (eMarketer, December 2012)
More than half (56%) of the GB adult population is aware of 4G (4th generation) technology, according to the findings from the Ipsos Mori Tech Tracker (December 2012). The awareness levels are highest among tablet owners at 83%, followed by Smartphone owners at 73%. In terms of demographics, awareness is highest among young affluent males with over 8 in 10 (82% amongst males 15 to 44 ABC1).
4G's offering brings the user closer to the opportunity of having home broadband capabilities on their mobile, with speeds up to 8x faster than the current 3G network. 41% of the GB adult population believe their access will be faster compared to current wifi access. The 4G technology offers stronger security and greater efficiency.
With coverage spanning 16 cities, more than 20 million people or a third of the UK population already have access to the 4G network; this is set to rise considerably with EE's promise to spend £1.4 million a day on their networks.
The Tech Tracker also tracks technology ownership and usage among the GB population every quarter and has been doing this for the past 6 years:
- Internet usage: The proportion of GB adults accessing the internet reached 81%, with 44% now accessing via a mobile.
- Social networking is one of the popular activities performed over the internet (46%), but email is still the most popular (75%).
- Connected home: Using the TV to connect to the internet is becoming a popular phenomenon, with 1 in 5 doing this via any equipment (such as games consoles etc..). One in three GB adults have at least one of the latest generation games console in their household.
- Smartphones: Smartphone ownership hit the 50% mark this quarter and has been steadily growing. Ownership of iPhone is at 23% ahead of Android Smartphones (17%) and Blackberry (13%)
- Tablets: Tablet ownership among the GB population is at 13%, with non-iPad ownership increasing steadily with the increasing popularity of android tablets in the market.
(Ipsos MORI, December 2012)
Shopping and browsing on a tablet device is more popular than from a smartphone in the UK; over half (66%) of tablet owners have made a purchase from their device, whilst only 44% have done the same from their smartphone in recent months, according to inforgraphics from eDigitalResearch and IMRG. The results also show that more shoppers have purchased larger ticketed items or products with a higher price tag through a tablet device rather than smartphone.
The latest results also show that over half (56%) of UK consumers now own a smartphone, whilst around 1 in 5 (21%) have access to a tablet device. Perhaps as would be expected however, there is a higher percentage of younger consumers who own a smartphone, whilst tablet devices, on average, seem to resonate more with a slightly older audience. (imrg, October 2012)
Last-minute search for holidays, airfares and hotel stays is a lasting, growing trend in the UK, according to the results of a Google UK survey.
The findings show that these queries are happening more and more via mobile devices.
While European consumer behaviours don't always correlate with North American ones, results here echo trends and observations that the travel industry needs to ponder on both sides of the Big Pond:
- 33% of the total online search volume for accommodation (desktop & mobile) came from a mobile device during Q3 2012 (as of July 9th 2012). That's a sharp increase from the previous quarter when it had 25% in Q2 2012, and even more compared to a year earlier, when it reached 5% during Q3 2011;
- Last-minute queries on mobile device for hotels and accommodations were up 79% during the January 2012 Peak compared to 2011, and up 411% during the June 2012 Peak compared to 2011. During these same peaks, last-minute queries on desktop were down by 37% and 79% respectively;
- Similar results can be found for last-minute Holiday packages and Airfare queries, demonstrating a clear shift from desktop to mobile for last-minute queries for all categories, including hotels and accommodations.
(HOTELMARKETING.COM, September 2012)
The number of UK households using tablets and smartphones has risen sharply over last 12 months, according to research by Ofcom.
The regulator's research shows 39% of UK adults now own a smartphone, which is 12 percentage points higher than last year's figures.
Thirty-nine per cent of smartphone owners said the device was the main one they used to access the internet, with 42% using them to visit social networking sites and 51% to send emails.
The uptick in smartphone usage has also changed people's shopping habits, the research claims. For instance, more than half of smartphone owners use their device to take photos of products, make online price comparisons and read reviews.
Tablet ownership has also risen rapidly over the past year. Two per cent of households owned one in 2011 and this figure now stands at 11%. More than a third of tablet owners said they could not live without their device and 17% said they plan to buy another one this year. (ITPRO, July 2012)
There were more than 32 million smartphones in the UK in 2011, according to mobile research company mobileSQUARED which expects that figure to double by 2015.
eMarketer estimates more than 17 million in people in the UK will go online via mobile in 2012, and that number will rise to more than 20 million by 2015. Tablet usage is similarly on the upswing. (eMarketer, April 2012)
14 million hours per year are spent searching for flights while at work, and Blackberry users spend 38% more time searching for flights during working hours than either iPhone or Android users, according to a infographics by Cheapflights.co.uk, based on its survey (featuring 700 people) and its user search data.
The company took an initiative to identify travel habits based on smartphone brands. The company assessed the preferences of the users of different brands by comparing Blackberry, iPhone and Android Phone users.
The survey found that there are 11 million smartphone users in the UK and that 9% of visitors to travel related websites are using mobile devices; that's up from 2.8% in 2010. Of those searching for flights online; 69% use an iPhone, 24% use an Android, and 6% use a Blackberry.
Other findings show that:
- Of the three different mobile personalities, Blackberry users appeared to be the biggest spenders with a whopping 50% of them more likely to splash the cash in a jet set holiday destination like Marbella.
- Meanwhile, iPhone users' destination choices showed them to be the bigger risk takers with a love of shopping and romance. The results showed they are twice as likely to go gambling in Las Vegas than Blackberry users and four times as likely as Android users and 10 times as likely as Blackberry users to have a romantic break in Paris. They're also 7% more likely to travel for a dirty weekend than Blackberry users.
- However, when it comes to general adventure, Android users came out on top highlighting New Zealand as one of their favourite destinations. They're also the techiest of the bunch being 50% more likely to visit high-tech Tokyo than the remaining two types.
- While iPhone users have a big appetite for fun, risk and romance, it would appear they have an almost equally big appetite for work as they were 17% more likely to take calls from work while on holiday compared to 12.9% for Blackberry users and only 7.5% for Android. However, iPhone and Blackberry almost tie when it comes to doing work while on holiday at 27.4% and 27.2%, respectively, with Android at 18.6%.
- When it comes to dining out, Blackberry users were a bit tight on spending from their own pocket being 3.9% more likely to buy their partner dinner on their business expenses compared with iPhone users. They were also the least likely to take their partner on a business trip.
(EyeForTravel, February 2012)
The Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea areas of London are set to be part of the largest free wireless zone in Europe, thanks to a landmark deal involving local authorities and O2.
The operator announced it had struck an agreement with Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
It will cost taxpayers no extra money, according to O2, which will start building the infrastructure for the free Wi-Fi in January 2012.
A number of tech giants have joined the free Wi-Fi for London bandwagon over the past year. In November 2011, it emerged Nokia was to sponsor free Wi-Fi across 26 street hotspots. Virgin has said it is planning a free Wi-Fi network in the capital, but little is known about when or where. (ITPRO, January 2012)
43.7% of mobile subscribers in the UK used a pre-installed app in the 3 month average ending August 2011, according to comScore.
Mobile use in the UK, 3 Month Average Ending August 2011:
- Sent Text Message: 90.5%
- Used Application (excl. pre-installed): 43.7%
- Used Browser: 45.9%
- Listened to Music: 25.4%
- Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog: 34.3%
- Accessed News: 25.4%
- Played Games: 33.3%
- Used Smartphone: 45.6%
(comScore, October 2011)
Travel has emerged as the top performing sector in the latest UK App Benchmark from eDigitalResearch. Search and find travel apps received an average satisfaction score of 83% in the study which covers 70 apps across eight different sectors including travel, flights and hotels.
The satisfaction score, based on elements including features, product information and overall experience, for hotels and flight apps was 81% and 75% respectively.
The National Trust app gained the best score within the travel sector with 89.5% while booking.com came top of the hotel sector with 87%, and the Lufthansa app, top for flights with 81%.
Scores of between 80% and 89.9% are seen as good while anything between 70% and 79.9% is judged as average. Travel search and find apps were said to be easy to use and navigate with well laid-out information that was easy to digest.
Further findings from the study for all industry sectors show consumers:
- Expect a range of products and information available via the app and not less than what they can access via the brand's website.
- Apps are expected to mirror websites but make information easier to view and digest.
- Functionality, such as the ability to check-in or book, is also expected to be on a par with company websites.
The eMysteryShopper survey was conducted in August and September 2011 to compare the customer journey via an Apple device - iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. (tnooz - talking travel tech, October 2011)
There have been significant changes in the way people connect to the internet in the UK in recent years, according to the Office for National Statistics. In 2011, almost half of internet users connected to the internet, using a mobile phone, while away from the home or office. There were 17.6 million mobile phone internet users in 2011, representing 45% of internet users, compared to 8.5 million users (23%) in 2009.
The use of wireless (wi-fi) hotspots also increased markedly with 4.9 million people using hotspots at hotels, restaurants, airports etc, compared to 0.7 million people in 2007.
There was significant growth in the adoption of mobile Internet technology over the previous 12 months, with an extra 6 million people using their mobile phone to access the Internet than reported in 2010.
The rate of growth in the use of this technology was fastest among those aged 16 to 24, with internet use over a mobile phone increasing from 44% to 71% over the previous 12 months. However, there have been notable increases across all age groups.
Since 2009, when the measurement of mobile phone internet use in this survey began, the number of women using mobile phones to access the internet has more than doubled, from 18% of internet users to 39% in 2011.
Mobile internet use via a laptop, tablet or other portable computer also proved popular in 2011, with 38% of internet users using these mobile devices away from the home or workplace. (Office for National Statistics, August 2011)
Nearly 20 million overseas visitors used a mobile phone when in the UK during 2010, according to VisitBritain.
VisitBritain findings also show that 60% of tourists visiting for holiday or pleasure purposes had used a mobile phone at least once during their stay, with a vast majority of business visitors also using a mobile phone while in the country.
The highest proportion of mobile phone users were those in the 35-44 age group, while visitors from Norway and the UAE had the largest desire to make or receive calls (about 80%). Holiday visitors from Canada and Japan were much less likely to do so (about 40%).
Unsurprisingly it was business visitors who were far more likely to be found using a laptop while abroad, especially those from Brazil (88%), UAE (81%) and the US (80%). According to the research, holiday visitors from Hong Kong (57%) and the UAE (54%) were more prolific laptop users than their counterparts from around the globe. (TravelDailyNews, August 2011)
At 80% smartphone usage (up by nearly 10 percentage points on April 2010) and 29% tablet ownership, the global business elite, as always take the lead in technology with only 5% of the rest of the UK population owning a tablet.
Familiar faces still dominate the smartphone market, but Apple is certainly making a dent in BlackBerry's once huge monopoly, with almost of third of business elites using an iPhone now instead.
On the tablet market, the iPad is almost ubiquitous. At 91% market share Apple is the BlackBerry of tablets for the business elite.
Apps are set to redefine how we do business, and with the number available exploding in the past few years alone, the business elite have downloaded over 14.3 million of them. However, they aren't using them as a new way to do business, and the bigger the screen the more they favour apps designed for entertainment.
Downloads of business and international news apps top the smartphone list (57%), followed by weather (51%) and games apps (38%), but for tablets, app downloads sway toward leisure with games (64%) and books (60%) and news apps arriving only third at 58% (even counting in business and financial news).
Although tablets and smartphones have arrived on the scene fairly recently, Ipsos study shows around a third of the global business elite get their business news via smartphone, and about 16% via tablets. (Ipsos Mori, August 2011)
31% of the adult population in the UK now owns a smartphone, showing an increase from 13% in January 2010, according to the results of the first quarter of 2011 Ipsos MediaCT Technology Tracker. This is highest amongst males and females under 35 as levels of ownership are now at 48% and 40% respectively.
With 14% of the adult population now owning an iPhone, ownership has doubled in the past year.
A key player within the smartphone industry is Blackberry. Current levels of ownership stand at 9% amongst the adult population. This appears to be most popular amongst females aged under 35 years at 13% in comparison to the males at 11%. Popularity amongst this group could be due to users favouring the usage of the Blackberry instant messaging service or BBM as it is known.
Smartphone Ownership GB Adults in January 2010 vs. January 2011 - any smartphone:
- All: 13% in January 2010 / 31% in January 2011
- Male<35: 23% / 48%
- Male 35+: 14% / 28%
- Female <35: 14% / 40%
- Female 35+: 8% / 21%
Smartphone Ownership GB Adults in January 2010 vs. January 2011 - iPhone:
- All: 7% in January 2010 / 14% in January 2011
- Male<35: 12% / 23%
- Male 35+: 6% / 13%
- Female <35: 7% / 17%
- Female 35+: 5% / 10%
Smartphone Ownership GB Adults in January 2011 - BlackBerry:
- All: 9%
- Male<35: 11%
- Male 35+: 9%
- Female <35: 13%
- Female 35+: 7%
(Ipsos MORI, May 2011)
50% of smartphone owners have now completed some sort of purchase on their mobile, increasing by 20% over just nine short months, with 11% of smartphone shoppers now using the device to make a purchase on a weekly basis, according to a study from eDigitalResearch and Portaltech.
The study also shows that smartphone owners are increasingly using their phones to shop, browse and research for products via their phones. Over one quarter (28%) of users now use their smartphone to find product information on a regular basis and remains one of the most popular shopping activities to complete on a phone.
The study looked at the increasing role of mobile in retail commerce and surveyed both Smartphone and non-Smartphone users. The results clearly show the continuing shift in consumer behaviour as more and more shoppers are adapting to new technologies, browsing, shopping and interacting with brands on the move. The results clearly indicate the growing trend that smartphones are being used more and more as an essential lifestyle accessory, with almost a 15% rise in the number of consumers interacting with mobile applications on a daily basis.
The results also show that consumers expectations of mobile websites have dramatically increased since the first research results last year; 31% of users now say that quick browsing should be an essential feature of mobile websites, compared with just 20% who said the same last June. Other significant factors that people see as essential include security, fast loading images, zoom functions and a professional looking site, reaffirming that consumers expect to find the same coherent retail message across channels.
Smartphone users who said that they never shopped online reduced from 70% last June to 49%, echoing the overall trend of growing consumer acceptance of mCommerce. Similarly, Smartphone owners who said that they expected to browse and purchase more on their phones in the next 12 months more than doubled from 20% to 46% and firmly establishes the importance for retailers to continue to develop and invest in mobile.
In the last year, mobile has gathered pace with retailers reporting traffic of between 2-12% via the mobile channel and Morgan & Stanley predict that by 2014, sales via a mobile device will overtake sales from a PC, according to Andrew Walker, CEO of Portaltech. (eDigitalResearch, May 2011)
Data usage on smartphone devices in the UK has soared by more than 75% in the first quarter of 2011, according to research by Three reported in an article in the free daily newspaper METRO.
Of all the cities in METRO's circulation, usage grew the most in Birmingham, in which 102% more data is being consumed every week. London had an 87% rise, while people in Edinburgh are now using 72% more data, according to the research.
The network says mobile broadband use on computers and tablets, such as the iPad, is also on the rise.
Three has indicated that this year, they expect more than 90% of customers to choose a smartphone when they get a new contract or upgrade. (METRO.co.uk, April 2011)
London Underground has teamed up with BT Openzone in a six-month trial of wifi at Charing Cross tube station. The trial will include live Transport for London (TfL) service updates available to all. O2, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone and Orange users can also use the BT Openzone network. (telecoms.com, November 2010)
The number of smartphone owners in the EU-5 (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) grew 41% between 2009 and 2010, to 60.8 million subscribers, according to a June 2010 report from comScore.
About 15 million of those users were in the UK, where smartphone ownership leaped 70% between 2009 and 2010, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK). Further, the IAB calculated that mobile access accounted for about a quarter of time spent online by UK web users in mid-2010.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed healthy gains in mobile web usage in 2010. Overall, 31% of UK web users ages 16 and older polled by ONS said they went online via mobile. Men were more likely to access the internet wirelessly, with 37% of males saying they used their mobile phone to go online, compared to 25% of females.
Google and Facebook remain the most popular mobile websites among UK users, according to comScore's MobiLens.
The July 2010 study also found that 31% of UK consumers would be more likely to respond to ads in any medium if they could do so via mobile. Texting a keyword to a short code was the preferred response method. But visiting a mobile site or calling a phone number were also popular options. (eMarketer, September 2010)
Mobile apps and m-commerce sites are becoming more popular with UK consumers than conventional home shopping catalogues to browse and buy retail products, according to a new research study from leading market research specialists eDigitalResearch, and eBusiness consultancy Portaltech.
According to the study, which assessed the views and opinions of both smartphone users and regular phone users, 25% of all consumers had used their mobile to research information and purchase products from mobile sites in the last week, compared to just 16% who had used traditional mail order catalogues. The extensive research also found that nearly a third of those smartphone owners surveyed already use their phone to explore and analyse goods and services, whilst 20% had continued on to make an actual purchase with their mobile.
The research indicates a fundamental shift in the way that consumers are now integrating with technology and organisations in their everyday lives, taking advantage of the 24/7 access owning a smart phone affords them. Over half of smartphone users that responded had compared products and prices in store, or made a purchase using their mobile whilst out shopping on the high street.
The popularity of smartphones and m-commerce looks set to increase in the future with a third of non smartphone users stating that they expect to acquire one in the coming 12 months. 93% of those who have already taken the step and completed a purchase stated they had a positive experience.
Consumers are most likely to purchase entertainment products, including CD's, books, and DVD'S, as well as clothing and digital downloads. When asked which factors were most influential when deciding whether to buy through an app or mobile site, most stated that security concerns, delivery timescales and options, and the sites speed of loading would often influence their decision.
Consumers would most like to see special offers, vouchers and sales information provided on mobile sites and apps. (prweb.com, August 2020)
According to Ovum and Verdict Research 28% of the UK adult population had internet access on their mobile in 2009 but just 2.1% used this access to shop online. Verdict estimates that in 2009, internet shopping sales via mobiles was worth just £122.9m, 0.6% of total £21.2bn online retail spending. At present, rather than shop, it is clear that consumers are using their mobiles to enhance the shopping experience by comparing prices, researching products and interacting with retailers. Indeed, the findings of Verdict's consumer research reveal that 11.5% of all UK shoppers are using their mobiles to research before shopping, while 3.8% use them to research, engage and interact with retailers while out shopping.
By 2013, internet sales via mobiles are predicted to have doubled to £275 million, driven by a 119% rise in the m-commerce population, improvements in mobile technology, better interoperability and greater take-up of smartphones and Android devices. Verdict and Ovum believe that though m-commerce will still not have become a significant channel by 2013, its effectiveness as a marketing tool and way of interacting with customers will have increased substantially, providing a massive boost to sales growth across all channels. (Datamonitor, June 2010)
London mayor Boris Johnson has given his support to plans to install Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile phone base stations in London Underground stations. In his address to the annual State of London debate, Johnson said he was willing to consider any ideas that would help London become one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, as long as they are financially viable.
But efforts to make progress since then have stalled, mainly because of costs. A six-month trial of on-platform web and phone services was due to commence in 2008, but a suitable partner could not be found.
Johnson has made no secret of his desire to give all of London wireless internet access, and last month told a Google conference that he had approached Europe's largest broadband provider The Cloud, which already covers the City of London, to extend the coverage across the capital in time for the 2012 Olympics. Plans would include installing wireless hotspots in street lights and bus stops.
As recently as last year, mobile access on the tube was mooted, as part of the Digital Britain report. (ITPro, June 2010)
The Cloud has come in as the front runner to provide blanket Wi-Fi coverage of London in time for the Olympic Games in 2012. The company, which is the largest provider of Wi-Fi across Europe, has been asked by London Mayor Boris Johnson to draw up plans of how to get the Olympic site at Stratford connected, according to the Financial Times.
It will not be the only provider involved however. A statement from The Cloud's chief executive, Steve Nicholson, claimed other mobile operators (such as O2, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile) have been included in a series of meetings to work out the logistics of getting the site fit for connectivity purposes. (ITPRO FIT FOR BUSINESS, May 2010)
Consumers are increasingly media multi-tasking with more than 8 out of 10 mobile media users (84%) simultaneously interacting with their TVs or PCs, according to a mobile focused research commissioned by Yahoo! among 2,004 UK mobile media users aged between 16 and 65.
The study conducted over the last five months showed that almost a quarter of respondents (22%) regularly use their mobiles, TVs and PCs to access content simultaneously, with 17% using PC and mobile at the same time, 29% using TV and mobile at the same time, and a massive 77% watching TV and using their PC simultaneously. The findings mean brands need to consider all platforms if their marketing campaigns are to drive consumer awareness and ward off negative consumer perception, according to Yahoo.
The findings also included a warning for brands that they must get their mobile offerings right, with many consumers opting to switch brands because of a bad brand experience.
The research showed that 1 in 10 mobile media users make mobile purchases, with this figure rising to 4 in 10 for iPhone users (including purchasing apps from the App Store). (eyefortravel, April 2010)
22% of all mobile consumers aged 15-50 in the UK regularly used their mobile to access the internet, according to a report published in February 2010 by Ipsos MediaCT, Moving Mobile Internet into the Mainstream.
The findings show that over half of all mobile consumers have still never used their mobile to access the web. For this group, functional barriers hold them back with nearly half stating that the internet is better on a PC/laptop, 36% state mobile web is too expensive and 20% that the screen size is too small. Importantly, the barriers are not that they do not want to access web content via a mobile. It is no longer apathy holding them back, which is a significant step forward.
Mobile internet usage is going through a transformation. The significant driver of this change has been the iPhone. At 7% ownership in the UK, the iPhone has opened up the market and together with the wider smartphone base, has shifted what consumers see as possible on a mobile, breaking down many lingering preconceptions about mobile internet.
Research from Ipsos MediaCT shows that 88% of iPhone owners regularly access mobile internet, sot hey are certainly much more active. iPhone users do, however, use a similar range of services on the fixed internet to typical mobile owners, suggesting the underlying motivations for using the web are similar.
The big difference is how iPhone owners are using the mobile internet. Their mobile web usage habits are now almost level with fixed internet usage, highlighting the extent to which the fixed experience has been transferred to the mobile for iPhone owners. IN the case of location based services (such as accessing maps or looking up places of interest) penetration of usage via the iPhone is beyond fixed levels. One of the few exceptions is shopping, remaining largely a fixed internet based experience - going forward, mobile commerce clearly offers a big growth opportunity on the iPhone.
Internet usage amongst iPhone owners, November 2009 (services accessed in the past 3 months) :
- Webmail: 76% (mobile web) / 81% (fixed web)
- Browse news: 75% (79%)
- Maps/Directions: 73% (68%)
- Facebook: 71% (77%)
- Download/listen music: 67% (67%)
- Location: 60% (46%)
- Travel info: 57% (62%)
- YouTube: 57% (68%)
- Twitter: 19% (28%)
- Shopping: 17% (71%)
- Catch-up TV: 15% (58%)
For the typical mobile owner, the web is still very much a fixed internet experience. The research from MediaCT showed that across a broad range of online activities the gap in current usage between fixed and mobile access is significant.
Interest in future usage uniformly rises across all activities when the three main functional barriers are removed (i.e. using handset with a large colour screen, fast mobile internet and web browsing is inclusive in the tariff). Interest increases to such an extent that it nearly mirrors today's iPhone user. The main activities on the fixed web (social networking, webmail, browsing news/entertainment sites and accessing music) all show the highest levels of interest for mobile web usage.
Internet usage amongst all mobile consumers:
- Facebook: 24% (mobile web) / 71% (fixed web)
- Webmail: 20% / 84%
- Download/listen music: 19% / 58%
- Browse news: 16% / 73%
- Maps/directions: 13% / 67%
- Location: 11% / 47%
- Travel info: 11% / 57%
- YouTube: 7% / 64%
- Twitter: 0% / 17%
- Shopping: 0% / 65%
- Catch-up TV: 0% / 55%
(IPSOS MORI, February 2010)
iPad and other tablets
The UK tablet audience will grow significantly through 2017, according to an eMarketer report, ‘UK Tablet Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates'. As newer, lower-priced tablet models become available and the market matures, the UK will see demographic shifts in uptake.
eMarketer expects that 19.7 million people in the country will use tablets regularly this year, totaling nearly one-third of the population. Adults ages 25 to 54 will be the core of the UK tablet population in 2013 and beyond. Combined, users in this range will account for 56.8% of the total audience this year. The largest single group of users between now and 2017 will be 25- to 34-year-olds, with 4 million members this year and 6.6 million by the end of the forecast period.
Younger groups, who were previously unable to afford tablets, will be more likely to purchase the devices as more manufacturers move into the cheaper tablet market and prices go down. Furthermore, older adults are likely to have an easier time justifying a tablet purchase now that costs have started to decrease.
eMarketer expects that more children under the age of 12 will use tablets than teens between 2013 and 2017. While tablets such as the nabi 2 and LeapFrog's LeapPad have been specifically targeted at kids, it is also common for children to regularly use tablets belonging to their parents. In addition, teens tend to prefer smartphones over tablets.
The number of tablet users in the oldest and youngest age groups-children, teens and adults 55 and older-will expand the fastest through 2017. While these age groups will claim small shares of the total UK tablet audience individually, combined they will represent nearly one-third of all users this year.
And this year, for the first time, women will outnumber men on tablets. As tablet use has expanded beyond early adoption, the gender makeup of the audience is becoming more reflective of the country's overall population.
eMarketer estimates that there will be 9.95 million female and 9.75 million male tablet users in the UK in 2013, equivalent to 50.5% and 49.5% of tablet users, respectively. Penetration rates among the respective genders will differ by just 1.4 percentage points this year, with males being slightly more likely to use tablets than females.
The number of female tablet users is predicted to grow more rapidly than the number of male users through 2016. In 2017, the UK tablet audience is expected to be 52% female and 48% male. (eMarketer, June 2013)
Nearly 20 million people in the UK will use a tablet at least once per month, in 2013, up 39% over 2012's 14.1 million users, according to eMarketer. This includes people of all ages who use tablet devices, not just tablet owners. eMarketer believes significant sharing of the devices among family and household members makes for a larger number of tablet users than owners.
By 2017, eMarketer predicts that more than 52% of the overall UK population and about two-thirds of internet users will have access to tablets. This projection is almost identical to the share of the US population eMarketer expects will use a tablet at that time.
UK tablet users, 2011-2017:
- 2011: 5.3 million (8.5% of the population and 11.8% of internet users)
- 2012: 14.1 million (22.3% / 30.4%)
- 2013: 19.7 million (30.9% / 41.1%)
- 2014: 24.4 million (37.9% / 49.7%)
- 2015: 28.1 million (43.3% / 56.1%)
- 2016: 31.6 million (48.3% / 62.0%)
- 2017: 34.6 million (52.4% / 66.9%)
Growth in tablet users has been rapid ever since Apple re-introduced the device to market in the form of the iPad several years ago. Since then, the iPad has dominated the segment and last year saw growth of 125%. However this looks set to change over the forecast period as tablet ownership expands beyond the early adopters to the general population, who are turning to lower-priced alternatives.
Many consumers reluctant to pay for the expensive devices have not yet adopted tablets. But eMarketer believes that the Amazon Kindle Fire, along with other low-end tablet alternatives, will offer more flexible pricing options and boost user numbers. Increased smartphone adoption will also push overall usage ahead. As audiences become more accustomed to going online via mobile devices, they are more likely to become comfortable with tablets.
As these lower-priced tablets continue to be introduced to the market, eMarketer expects that the iPad will see some slippage in user share. eMarketer expects there to be 11.6 million iPad users in the UK this year, representing 18.2% of the country's total population or 59% of tablet users. Growth will continue to slow throughout the forecast period and by 2017, that share will fall to 40%.
UK iPad users, 2011-2017:
- 2011: 4.2 million (79.0% off tablet users)
- 2012: 9.5 million (67.0%)
- 2013: 11.6 million (59.0%)
- 2014: 12.2 million (50.0%)
- 2015: 12.9 million (46.0%)
- 2016: 13.6 million (43.0%)
- 2017: 13.8 million (40.0%)
(eMarketer, May 2013)
46% of internet users in the UK will be tablet users by 2016, according to an eMarketer report, ‘The UK Multiscreen Household: TV Still Central in the Multidevice Mix.' This will represent an estimated 23.2 million tablet users.
UK tablet users, 2010-2016:
- 2010: 1.8 million (or 2.8% of total population and 4.0% of internet users)
- 2011: 4.1 million (or 6.5% / 9.0%)
- 2012: 9.8 million (or 15.6% / 21.0%)
- 2013: 13.4 million (or 21.2% / 28.0%)
- 2014: 17.1 million (or 26.9% / 35.0%)
- 2015: 20.5 million (or 31.9% / 41.0%)
- 2016: 23.2 million (or 36.0% / 46.0%)
Evidence from the IAB UK indicated that growth in UK video viewing via tablet devices is outstripping growth in viewing on any other screen type. Of course, TV remains the core content consumption device in the home; however, tablets may soon become the preferred dual-screen accompaniment. (eMarketer, March 2013)
Interactive ads on tablets generate much better response rates than static tablet ads, according to a recent study released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau UK. Over half of the respondents said they had a positive overall opinion of interactive ads (54%). Static ads got only half that amount of positive feedback with 27%. In addition, 45% of survey participants said they expect their favourite brands to advertise on tablets.
When the respondents were asked why they liked an ad, 28% of people said it was because it was interactive and contained multiple features. These interactive ads also cause respondents to stay on the page for 31% more time. The average time spent with pages featuring interactive tablet ads was 24.6 seconds compared to 18.8 seconds for static ads and 17.5 seconds with dynamic ads.
As tablets become more popular, the report suggests the push for advertising on these devices will continue. Respondents also seem to feel this way with 47% agreeing that advertising on tablet computers is the "future of advertising." (ClickZ, July 2012)
Tablet users in the UK are more likely to shop online than smartphone owners. Tablet owners are more engaged with retail brands, making more purchases and website visits compared with smartphone users, according to the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG.
The results show that 30% of tablet users have used their device to shop online, whilst currently only 25% of smartphone owners have used their phone to do the same. Similarly, almost half (48%) of tablet owners have used their devices to research products in-store, whilst only 29% have done the same via their smartphone.
The results also reveal the eagerness of consumers to start using their mobile devices more for everyday tasks, including in-store purchases. Of the 6,000 consumers surveyed, over a quarter (27%) said that they will be willing to use contactless mobile payment when available to them, and almost half (47%) of these would be willing to pay for goods up to the value of £20, whilst an impressive 15% would be comfortable to spend £50 or over using contactless mobile payments. (eDigitalResearch, September 2011)
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 20:39