New figures reveal changing habits

Smartphones are now top device for online users

Apple iPhone6Smartphones are becoming the device of choice for an increasing number of Scots who prefer them to access news and information.

They are now more popular than laptops with nearly four in ten (37%) of internet users choosing smartphones against a quarter (26%) using a laptop and 27% a tablet.

Improving 4G coverage, the growing number of applications and versatility are among the reasons for the explosion in smartphone use.

Inevitably younger people are the biggest users, with half of 16 to 34-year-old internet users and 45% of 35 to 54-year-olds saying they are the most important device.

The figures are contained the tenth Ofcom communications market report on Scotland.

Ofcom Scotland director Vicki Nash said: “Scotland is now a smartphone society. It’s the device of choice for accessing the internet.

“I think part of the attraction is you can be mobile with a smartphone. You can be mobile with a tablet or a laptop but smartphones are much more portable and you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, wherever you want to do it.”

She added: “For younger people they have grown up with the internet and are more confident being online.

“They have far fewer security concerns because they have grown up with it and think any way they can access it is fine. They are more likely to be buying online and banking online.”

Just over six in ten (63%) adults in Scotland now own a smartphone, slightly below the UK average of 66%.

Meanwhile, take-up of 4G service among smartphone owners has risen by 25% between 2014 and 2015 to reach 55%, higher than the UK average of 45%.

Tablets have increased in popularity in the last year, with more than half of adults (52%) now owning a tablet computer, up from 42% last year.

Scots spend 19.9 hours online each week.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of households in Scotland now have access to fixed and mobile broadband at home while 59% of adults have online access through a mobile phone.

The growth in all devices, together with the development of online “catch up” services, is having an impact on television viewing, the report found. Fewer people are likely to watch it at the time of transmission. The report revealed a 34% decline in the number of people who watched programmes at the time they were broadcast.

The number of TV hours produced specifically for viewers in Scotland has increased by 57% since 2009, to 2,573 hours in 2014.

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