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Ofcom reveals smartphones are now the centre of our connected lives

Would you rather be without your laptop or your smartphone? Ofcom’s latest report suggests that as of 2015, we’d be more lost without smartphones than ever before.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report has some illuminating facts and figures regarding how we as a nation juggle TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones in our lives. This year’s report is particularly significant as it highlights a preference towards smartphones for the first time.

33 per cent of internet users in the UK said that their smartphone has become the most important device in their life for getting online, followed by 30 per cent sticking with their laptops as the primary point of access. This is a complete switch from last year, which saw 40 per cent choose laptops and just 23 per cent siding with smartphones, so why the switch?

The research cites the rapid expansion and availability of 4G coverage and more accessible 4G-capable hardware as the primary reasoning behind the rise of internet usage from mobile devices. As of May 2015, 89.5 per cent of UK households are within range of 4G coverage from at least one of the nation’s mobile carriers. Even more telling is the jump from 2.3 million 4G mobile subscribers in 2014, to a staggering 23.6 million in 2015 so far.

4G users also use their devices differently to non-4G users, with a penchant for streaming more on-demand, short-length video and generally using the internet more readily when they’re out and about.

Other notable tidbits from the report include a large percentage of smartphone users now buying things online (45 per cent) or banking online (44 per cent) and that 24 per cent of Brits use Twitter as the primary means of venting their frustrations on social media.

There’s a lot of rich information inside Ofcom’s latest report and it better quanitifies the shift in usage habits we’re seeing from mobile users as the technology becomes more powerful and more affordable at the same time.

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