Rise of the apps sees fall in UK mobile phone calls

Research shows 78 percent of the British public believe they couldn't live without their smartphone

Adam Forrest
Thursday 02 August 2018 15:59
Comments
Rise of the apps
Rise of the apps

The number of calls made on the UK’s mobile devices has fallen for the very first time, despite our growing dependence on smartphones.

According to Ofcom, the popularity of apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger has cut the amount of time we spend calling friends and family the traditional way.

While three-quarters of people believe voice calling is still an important reason to use smartphones, 92 per cent said their phone’s web browsing capacity is vital.

The regulator found the total volume of outgoing mobile calls fell by 2.5 billion minutes last year to 148.6 billion minutes. Yet adults now spend an average of 2 hours and 28 minutes a day online via their smartphone. Young people (18-24 year-olds) are absorbed for even longer, spending 3 hours and 14 minutes online using their phone each day.

Remarkably, 78 per cent of adults said they could not live without their smartphone. Two in five adults check their device within five minutes of waking up. And seven out of 10 commuters spend time on their smartphones on the way to work.

Ofcom’s latest research shows some people feeling uneasy about their own smartphone obsession. Two in five people said they spent too much time looking at their device, and 54 per cent admitted their smartphone use interrupted face-to-face conversations with friends or family.

There is general agreement on the most annoying ways people use their devices. Three-quarters of people find it irritating when a fellow passenger is listening to music or playing games loudly on public transport, while 81 per cent object to other people getting absorbed in phone use during meal times.

“Over the last decade, people’s lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services,” said Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s director of market intelligence.

“Whether it’s working flexibly, keeping up with current affairs or shopping online, we can do more on the move than ever before. But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they’re not.”

The smartphone is now more treasured than the television set - 48 per cent of people said it was the one device they would miss the most, compared with 28 per cent who said their TV was still their most important possession.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in