Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - A new report from Ofcom has revealed the UK as a nation of phone addicts. For the first time smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular way to get online. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Smartphone use in general has jumped up a notch. In 2012 just 39 per cent of the UK adults owned smartphones. That number has risen to 66 per cent now. But the youth are the really connected ones. A whopping 90 per cent of 16-24 year olds armed with a smartphone.

And people are using the internet way more in general. In 2005 people over 16 spent 10 hours online per week, last year that figure doubled to just over 20 hours. That's probably largely to better internet connections out and about.

4G use

Now 33 per cent of the UK use mobiles to get online, with 30 per cent sticking to laptops.

Best iPhone 13 deals on EE

This is largely attributed to better 4G connectivity. In 2014 the number of 4G subscriptions jumped from 2.7 million to 23.6 million.

According to Ofcom 4G users also shop more. With 55 per cent of 4G users shop online where only 35 per cent of non-4G customers do the same.


Selfies have grown in popularity with a whopping 1.2 billion taken last year alone.

Smartphone manufacturers are catering for this more now, with higher quality selfie cameras appearing, so this number is likely to continue to grow.

Nearly a third of UK adults admit to taking selfies, with 10 per cent doing so at least once a week.

Photo back-up

Backing up photos isn't as popular as perhaps it should be. Only 31 per cent of adults are backing up their photos, Ofcom says.

But with Google's introduction of unlimited storage on its Photos app platform, that may change during this year.


If you're a person who wakes and turns to your phone, you're a minority apparently. Just 34 per cent of people look at their phones within 5 minutes of waking.

And if you keeping using it during dinner you're in the minority again, with 55 per cent saying it's not acceptable to check phones while dining.

Check out our guide to smartwatch etiquette so you get manners for that right first time.

READ: The Pocket-lint guide to smartwatch etiquette

Writing by Luke Edwards.