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UK Digital Engagement Platforms: PC, Mobile and Voice Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Engagement Platforms: PC, Mobile and Voice market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report examines the relationship consumers have with the technology devices they own or have access to, and how this relationship is changing as technology evolves. This report examines devices operating on three key technology platforms:

  • PC (including desktop and laptop computers)
  • Mobile (including smartphones and tablets)
  • Voice (including smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices)

Key points included

  • Voice control’s implications for accessibility and e-commerce
  • Changing video consumption habits affecting brand targeting
  • Personal device viewing lets brands target the individual

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Andrew Moss, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The trend towards smartphone-first consumers is continuing. More people than ever say the smartphone is the most important device to them, but despite this there are many who stick to computers to manage money and shop online. Meanwhile, voice control has emerged as an exciting new platform for digital engagement that has the potential to appeal to wide range of users. A focus on natural speech may create interfaces through which people can intuitively access digital services. Andrew Moss
Technology Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The mobile consumer
              • Figure 1: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-September 2018
            • 5G: A new generation of mobile data
              • Rising familiarity with voice control
                • Voice-commerce could impact brands and brand discovery
                  • Smart displays add another dimension to digital assistants in the home
                    • The consumer
                      • Smartphone ownership remains on top
                        • Smart voice-controlled speakers break free from early adopters
                          • Figure 2: Personal device ownership, October 2018
                        • Android dominance of smartphones reflects wide device choice
                          • Google Home chipping away at the Echo’s dominance
                            • Laptop remains the device of choice for transactional activities
                              • Smartphones a viable tool for video streaming
                                • Music the leading use for voice commands
                                  • Figure 3: Voice control activities performed and interest in voice control activities amongst owners of voice-controlled smart speakers, October 2018
                                • Acceptability of current cellular internet speeds may reflect low expectations
                                  • Usage management and digital health
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • Voice control’s implications for accessibility and e-commerce
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Changing video consumption habits affecting brand targeting
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • The mobile consumer
                                                    • 5G: A new generation of mobile data
                                                      • Rising familiarity with voice control
                                                        • Voice-commerce could impact brands and brand discovery
                                                          • Risk of a digital divide
                                                            • Apple Watch Series 4 provides key smartphone functions
                                                            • Market Background

                                                              • The mobile consumer
                                                                • Figure 4: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-September 2018
                                                              • 5G: A new generation of mobile data
                                                                • Rising familiarity with voice control
                                                                  • Voice-commerce could impact brands and brand discovery
                                                                    • Connected home devices expanding digital connectivity
                                                                      • Risk of a digital divide
                                                                        • Innovation and ecosystem evolution
                                                                          • Smart displays add another dimension to digital assistants in the home
                                                                            • Smartphone releases focus on screen and camera quality
                                                                              • Apple Watch Series 4 provides key smartphone functions
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Smartphone ownership remains on top
                                                                                  • Wearables and smart speakers offer new ways to engage
                                                                                    • Android dominance on smartphones reflects wide device choice
                                                                                      • Chromebook remains on the edge of widespread adoption
                                                                                        • Google Home chipping away at the Echo’s dominance
                                                                                          • Laptop remains the device of choice for transactional activities
                                                                                            • Music the leading use for voice commands
                                                                                              • People are sticking with simple voice functions
                                                                                              • Device Ownership

                                                                                                • Smartphone ownership remains on top
                                                                                                  • Laptops and tablets converging towards the same niche
                                                                                                    • Figure 5: Personal device ownership, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Older generations embracing connectivity
                                                                                                    • Figure 6: Smartphone ownership, by gender and generation, October 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 7: Laptop ownership, by gender and generation, October 2018
                                                                                                  • Wearables and smart speakers offer new ways to engage
                                                                                                    • Smart voice-controlled speakers break free from early adopters
                                                                                                      • Smartwatches expected to return to growth
                                                                                                        • Priced-out of new technologies
                                                                                                        • Operating Systems and Ecosystems

                                                                                                          • Android dominance on smartphones reflects wide device choice
                                                                                                            • Figure 8: Operating system on smartphone, October 2018
                                                                                                          • Chromebook remains on the edge of widespread adoption
                                                                                                            • Figure 9: Type of desktop or laptop computer owned, October 2018
                                                                                                          • A third tablet option available for consumers
                                                                                                            • Figure 10: Operating system on tablet computer, October 2018
                                                                                                          • Google Home chipping away at the Echo’s dominance
                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Type of smart voice-controlled speaker owned, October 2018
                                                                                                          • Phone OS driving technology choices
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Link between smartphone operating system and choice of voice-controlled smart speaker, October 2018
                                                                                                        • Device Habits

                                                                                                          • Laptop remains the device of choice for transactional activities
                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Activities performed on computers, smartphones, and tablets, October 2018
                                                                                                          • Mobile money management
                                                                                                            • Manufacturers reassure users with biometrics
                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Online shopping activity on devices, by generation, October 2018
                                                                                                            • Smartphones a viable tool for video streaming
                                                                                                              • Personal device viewing lets brands target the individual
                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Video consumption habits on devices, by generation, October 2018
                                                                                                            • Voice Control

                                                                                                              • Music the leading use for voice commands
                                                                                                                • People are sticking with simple functions
                                                                                                                  • Interest in controlling the connected home contrasts current usage
                                                                                                                    • Limited voice control on other devices
                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Voice control activities performed and interest in voice control activities amongst owners of voice-controlled smart speakers, October 2018
                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Voice control activities performed and interest in voice control activities amongst non-owners of voice-controlled smart speakers, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Device Preferences

                                                                                                                    • Jump in smartphone importance
                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Combinations of smartphone, tablet, and computer (laptop or desktop) ownership, October 2018
                                                                                                                    • Tablets fall out of favour as other devices close in
                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Devices people would miss the most, 2016-18
                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Devices people would miss the most, by demographics, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Mobile-First and Computer-First Behaviours

                                                                                                                    • Acceptability of current cellular internet speeds may reflect low expectations
                                                                                                                      • Confusing smartphone functions
                                                                                                                        • Usage management and digital health
                                                                                                                          • Smartphones convenient for many tasks, but some usability issues persist …
                                                                                                                            • … and computers remain a popular option as a result
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Smartphone behaviours, October 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Computer and smartphone behaviours, October 2018
                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology