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Smartphone is UK's most favorite internet device

Staff writer |
Smartphones have overtaken laptops in the UK as the most popular device for getting online, according to a report by Ofcom, the country's communications regulator.

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Ofcom's 2015 Communications Market Report found that 33 percent of internet users saw their smartphones as the most important device for going online, compared to 30 percent who were still sticking with their laptops.

The rise in smartphone surfing marked a clear shift since 2014, when just 22 percent in the UK turned to their phone first, and 40 percent preferred their laptop, according to the report.

Two thirds of local people owned a smartphone, using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank and shop online, the figures showed.

Smartphones have become the hub of local people's daily lives. The vast majority (90 percent) of 16-24 year olds owned one; while 55-64 year olds were also joining the smartphone revolution, with ownership in this age group more than doubling since 2012, from 19 percent to 50 percent.

Ofcom said the surge was being driven by the increasing take-up of 4G mobile broadband, providing faster online access. During 2014, 4G subscriptions have leapt from 2.7 million to 23.6 million by the end of 2014.

Smartphone users with 4G were shopping, banking, watching TV and video clips online, and instant messaging with services such as WhatsApp more than those without 4G, figures indicated.

Superfast 4G was helping change the way people shopped, banked, watched TV and communicated, said Ofcom.

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