updated 04:31 pm EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
Tenth of population owns a tablet computer, two fifths own smartphones
The average British resident uses SMS and social networking more than phone calls, a study claims. Ofcom, the UK regulator for communications, has released a report suggesting mobile-based voice calls are in decline for the first time ever, with use falling by over one percent in 2011. Landline call volumes dropped by ten percent, which equates to an overall decline of five percent for all voice calls throughout the UK last year.
The Communications Market Report also suggested 47 percent of handset users make a daily voice call, while 58 percent send at least one text message every day. Social networks, by contrast, are used every day by 73 percent of all users aged 16 to 24, while 96 percent of subscribers use some form of text-based application for communication.
UK households will also own on average three different types of Internet-enabled device, with 15 percent owning six or more. Four in ten adults own a smartphone, 12 percent more than in 2010. Of this group, 42 percent say their smartphone is the most important device for accessing the Internet. Just over half use e-mail on the handsets.
Tablet ownership has risen in the last year, from two percent to 11 percent. A third of respondents say they could not live without the device, and nearly one in five households intend to buy a tablet within the next year. Nine in 10 mainly use their tablets at home, and two thirds share their tablet with other people they live with. Nearly a third od respondents allow people they don't live with to use the handhelds.
Other details from the report include notes suggesting Northern Ireland has the highest broadband availability, at 94 percent, and smartphone adoption is higher in Wales than other countries in the UK, raising by 14 percent. [via BBC News]