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PC and Mobile Use - UK - January 2016

“Of the three core devices, the smartphone is the most versatile when it comes to the number of locations in which it is used. However limitations such as screen size, a lack of signal and high connection costs mean that it is the least versatile when looking at the range of activities that consumers are willing to perform on it.”

Paul Davies, Senior Leisure and Technology Analyst

This report covers the following areas:

  • Encouraging more consumers to think 'mobile first'
  • As tablet ownership plateaus, where does the future of the market lie?

The majority of consumers still think twice about conducting complex or time consuming activities on smartphones, which are still predominantly used as communication devices.

However the rise of the phablet (a smartphone with a screen size of 5”+) has seen more people start to use their phone as a ‘mini computer’, which has consequently lessened the need for a tablet computer as these become more dispensable in their current format.

This report examines consumers’ use of laptops/desktops (PCs), tablets, smartphones and in some cases, smartwatches. The research investigates which devices are used in and out of the home, and how they are used for particular activities at certain times or places. We also look at consumers’ preferences and general behaviours when using different devices; assessing how and why this affects their usage patterns.

For the purpose of this report the term PC is used to refer to both laptop and desktop computers.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • Majority of consumers have a choice of devices
            • Figure 1: Device usage, October 2015
          • Smartphones still lack versatility
            • Figure 2: Smartphone attitudes and behaviours, October 2015
          • Larger screens reduce barriers
            • Figure 3: Smartphone behaviours (agreement), by screen size used, October 2015
          • PCs and tablet use largely restricted to the home
            • Figure 4: Usage locations, by device, October 2015
          • Tablets seen as more dispensable
            • Figure 5: Device consumers would miss the most, October 2015
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

            • Encouraging more consumers to think ‘mobile first’
              • The facts
                • The implications
                  • As tablet ownership plateaus, where does the future of the market lie?
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Tablet surge comes to an end
                          • Three in four UK adults own a smartphone
                            • Nearly two fifths use a ‘phablet’
                              • Wearables yet to catch on
                              • Market Background

                                • Tablet surge comes to an end
                                  • Figure 6: Household ownership of computers, January 2012 – September 2015
                                • Three in four UK adults own a smartphone
                                    • Figure 7: Personal ownership of mobile phones, January 2012 – September 2015
                                  • Nearly two fifths use a ‘phablet’
                                      • Figure 8: Smartphone screen size, October 2015
                                    • Wearables yet to catch on
                                        • Figure 9: Personal ownership of smartwatches, June 2014 – September 2015
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Google’s AMP signals a faster mobile web
                                        • Tablets get practical
                                          • Hybrids blur the boundaries
                                            • BlackBerry makes keyboard U-turn
                                              • Redefining the role of the smartphone
                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                • Google’s AMP signals a faster mobile web
                                                  • Tablets get practical
                                                    • Figure 10: Apple iPad Pro with stylus pen, launched in September 2015
                                                  • Hybrids blur the boundaries
                                                    • Figure 11: Microsoft Surface Book laptop, unveiled October 2015
                                                  • BlackBerry makes keyboard U-turn
                                                    • Redefining the role of the smartphone
                                                      • Figure 12: Microsoft Lumia 950 smartphone connected to an external monitor, device launched in 2015
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Majority of consumers have a choice of devices
                                                      • Apple and Google control the smartphone OS market
                                                        • Tablet buyers look for familiarity
                                                          • PC still the preferred option
                                                            • Smartphones still lack versatility
                                                              • PCs and tablets consigned to the home
                                                                • ‘Lite’ mobile websites can overcome frustrations
                                                                  • Tablets seen as more dispensable
                                                                  • Device Usage

                                                                    • Majority of consumers have a choice of devices
                                                                        • Figure 13: Device usage, October 2015
                                                                      • Older consumers more likely to use conventional means
                                                                        • Figure 14: Device usage, by age, October 2015
                                                                    • Mobile Operating Systems

                                                                      • Apple and Google battle for ‘floating voters’
                                                                          • Figure 15: Smartphone operating systems used, October 2015
                                                                        • Android dominates ‘phablet’ market
                                                                          • Figure 16: Smartphone screen size, by operating system, October 2015
                                                                        • Microsoft aims to unsettle tablet market
                                                                            • Figure 17: Tablet operating systems used, October 2015
                                                                        • Smartphone Behaviours

                                                                          • Smartphones still lack versatility
                                                                              • Figure 18: Smartphone behaviours, October 2015
                                                                            • Addressing the frustrations of Millennials
                                                                                • Figure 19: Smartphone behaviours (agreement), by age, October 2015
                                                                              • Larger screens reduce barriers
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Smartphone behaviours (agreement), by screen size used, October 2015
                                                                              • Device Activity

                                                                                • PC still the preferred option
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Device activity, October 2015
                                                                                  • Mobile users far more selective
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Repertoire of activities conducted most on each device, October 2015
                                                                                  • More Millennials think ‘mobile first’
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Repertoire of activities conducted most on a smartphone, by age, October 2015
                                                                                  • Usage Locations

                                                                                    • PCs and tablet use restricted to the home
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Usage locations, by device, October 2015
                                                                                    • Tablets not so ‘mobile’
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Repertoire of usage locations, by device, October 2015
                                                                                    • Smartphones used for snippets of entertainment
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Activities conducted mostly on a smartphone, by usage locations, October 2015
                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Devices

                                                                                      • ‘Lite’ mobile websites can overcome frustrations
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Attitudes towards devices, October 2015
                                                                                      • Smartphones set up transactions
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Attitudes towards devices, by generation, October 2015
                                                                                      • Importance of Devices

                                                                                        • Tablets seen as more dispensable
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Device consumers would miss the most, October 2015
                                                                                          • Women and younger people more fixated on smartphones
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Device consumers would miss the most, by gender and age, October 2015
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                            PC and Mobile Use - UK - January 2016

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