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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : August 04, 2011

Teens in UK addicted to smartphones

Just under half of British kids aged between 12 and 15 now own a smartphone, according to new stats released today by UK regulator Ofcom, with many reporting high levels of addiction.

by Helen Leggatt

ofcom_logo.gifWhile over a quarter of adults now own a smartphone (27%), just under half of youngsters do (47%) found Ofcom's survey. For most the device is a recent purchase, 59% having bought one in the last 12 months.

However, even within that relatively short space of time their devices have proved invaluable to youngsters. So much so that 60% of teens admit to high levels of addiction (over 7 on a scale of 1-10) and 71% keep their devices switched on 24/7.

Ofcom's survey also highlighted how social behavior is changing as a result of smartphone use. Today's teens use their smartphone in situations most would consider inappropriate such as at the dinner table (34%) or in public spaces where they've been asked to turn off their devices (27%) including libraries and cinemas.

RIM Blackberry continues to be the device of choice for teens (37%) followed by Apple iPhone (17%). This may have more to do with teens' reliance on parents to purchase their smartphones.

"Ofcom's 2011 Communications Market Report shows the influence that communications technology now has on our daily lives, and on the way we behave and communicate with each other," said James Thickett, director of research for Ofcom.

"Our research into the use of smartphones, in particular, reveals how quickly people become reliant on new technology, to the point of feeling 'addicted'."

Tags: mobile trends, Ofcom, smartphone use, teens, UK

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