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UK Digital Trends Quarterly: AI and Automation Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends Quarterly: AI and Automation 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 and how fast are its rates of growth? 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 covers ownership of and intentions to purchase consumer technology products (eg televisions, laptops and smartphones), as well as the methods that people have used to connect to the internet in the last three months.

Mintel’s Digital Trends Report series examines what types of activities consumers have performed online using PCs (Personal Computers) (laptops or desktops), tablets and smartphones. In each quarter, we focus on a different aspect of consumer behaviour, and this edition focuses on social and media-related activities including use of social networks and messaging services, online news and video consumption, photo and video sharing, and casual gaming.

In addition, every edition contains a Special Focus section, where we address a particular aspect of the consumer technology market. This edition’s Special Focus is on consumer attitudes towards some of the AI- or automation-based innovations that companies are starting to introduce across various consumer markets.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Matt King, a leading analyst in the Leisure, Tourism, Tech & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The fact that digital assistants like Alexa or Siri are the most likely of the AI-based or automated products or services that people would use is a reflection of the extent to which voice controlled speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have quickly captured the public’s imagination. Smartphone-based digital assistants helped introduce people to the idea, but it’s the advent of voice-controlled speakers that has really started to help people see voice interaction as a real benefit rather than just a gimmick. Matt King
Head of Leisure, Tourism, Tech & Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • Personal technology
            • Smartphone growth potential remains in over-45 age group
              • Figure 1: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-April 2018
            • Smartwatches can become central to connected ecosystems
              • Figure 2: Ownership of wearable devices, November 2014-April 2018
            • Household technology
              • Smart speakers the star performers as more devices arrive
                • Figure 3: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets, December 2017 and April 2018
              • Cloud-based gaming services could threaten desktop PC sales
                • Figure 4: Household ownership of computers, January 2012-April 2018
              • World Cup boost for TVs, despite 4K disappointment
                • Figure 5: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions, July 2016-April 2018
              • Online activities
                • Digital activity subdued in Q1
                  • Figure 6: Online activities done in the last three months on any device*, October 2017 and April 2018
                • Social targeting in an evolving digital landscape
                  • Special Focus: Online user reviews
                    • Nearly two thirds read reviews, with leisure activities top of the list
                      • Figure 7: Online user reviews read in the last six months, April 2018
                    • User reviews seen as more impartial than professional reviews
                      • Figure 8: Perceptions of user reviews vs professional reviews, April 2018
                  • Personal Technology – Headline Data

                      • Ownership of mobile phones
                        • Figure 9: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-April 2018
                        • Figure 10: Ownership of mobile phones and smartwatches (source data), January 2012-April 2018
                        • Figure 11: Smartphone and basic mobile phone ownership combinations, June 2017-April 2018
                        • Figure 12: Smartphone and basic mobile phone ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                      • Ownership of wearable technology
                        • Figure 13: Ownership of wearable devices, November 2014-April 2018
                        • Figure 14: Ownership of wearable devices (source data), November 2014-April 2018
                      • Ownership of other personal technology
                        • Figure 15: Ownership of other personal technology products, December 2013-April 2018
                        • Figure 16: Ownership of other personal technology products (source data), December 2013-April 2018
                      • Recent personal technology purchases
                        • Figure 17: Personal technology products bought in the last three months, June 2017-April 2018
                        • Figure 18: Personal technology products bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                      • Planned personal technology purchases
                        • Figure 19: Personal technology products plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-April 2018
                        • Figure 20: Personal technology products plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                    • Personal Technology – Market Commentary

                        • Smartphone growth potential remains in over-45 age group
                          • Figure 21: Smartphone ownership, by age, April 2016-April 2018
                        • Apple targets owners of older devices with iOS 12
                          • Screen improvements taking on renewed importance…
                            • Figure 22: Galaxy S9 l S9+ Infinity Display
                            • Figure 23: Razer Phone with HDR & Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
                          • …and camera specs comes back into focus
                            • Figure 24: Important factors when upgrading, February 2018
                          • Smartwatches can become central to connected ecosystems
                            • Talk to the wrist
                              • Can Alexa make her voice heard?
                              • Household Technology – Headline Data

                                  • Ownership of computers
                                    • Figure 25: Household ownership of computers, January 2012-April 2018
                                    • Figure 26: Household ownership of computers (source data), January 2012-April 2018
                                    • Figure 27: Ownership of computers, by form factor. June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 28: Ownership of computers, by form factor (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 29: Computer ownership combinations, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 30: Computer ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • Ownership of TVs
                                    • Figure 31: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions, July 2016-April 2018
                                    • Figure 32: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions (source data), July 2016-April 2018
                                    • Figure 33: TV ownership combinations, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 34: TV ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • TV connectivity
                                    • Figure 35: Type of TV internet connection, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 36: Type of TV internet connection (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • Ownership of other household technology
                                    • Figure 37: Ownership of other household technology products, January 2012-April 2018
                                    • Figure 38: Ownership of other household technology products (source data), January 2012-April 2018
                                    • Figure 39: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets, December 2017 and April 2018
                                    • Figure 40: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets (source data), December 2017 and April 2018
                                  • Recent computer and static console purchases
                                    • Figure 41: Computers and static consoles bought in the last three months, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 42: Computers and static consoles bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • Planned computer and static console purchases
                                    • Figure 43: Computers or static consoles plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 44: Computers or static consoles plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • Recent TV purchases
                                    • Figure 45: TVs bought in the last three months, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 46: TVs bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                  • Planned TV purchases
                                    • Figure 47: TVs plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-April 2018
                                    • Figure 48: TVs plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-April 2018
                                • Household Technology – Market Commentary

                                    • Smart speakers the star performers as more devices arrive
                                      • World Cup boost for TVs, despite 4K disappointment
                                        • Figure 49: BBC iPlayer World Cup 2018 Ultra HD promo page
                                        • Figure 50: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure* on televisions, by month, January 2016-May 2017
                                      • Can VR crash the World Cup party?
                                        • Figure 51: “Virtual reality sofa” in the BBC Sport VR - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 app
                                      • Cloud-based gaming services could threaten desktop PC sales…
                                        • …and call consoles’ future into question
                                          • Laptops and tablets focused on core features and price in the fight for share
                                          • Online Activities – Headline Data

                                              • Online activities across all devices
                                                • Figure 52: Online activities done in the last three months on any device*, October 2017 and April 2018
                                                • Figure 53: Online activities done in the last three months on any device*, October 2017 and April 2018
                                              • Online activities on a desktop/laptop
                                                • Figure 54: Online activities done in the last three months on a desktop/laptop, October 2017 and April 2018
                                                • Figure 55: Online activities done in the last three months on a desktop/laptop (source data), October 2017 and April 2018
                                              • Online activities on a tablet
                                                • Figure 56: Online activities done in the last three months on a tablet, October 2017 and April 2018
                                                • Figure 57: Online activities done in the last three months on a tablet (source data), October 2017 and April 2018
                                              • Online activities on a smartphone
                                                • Figure 58: Online activities done in the last three months on a smartphone, October 2017 and April 2018
                                                • Figure 59: Online activities done in the last three months on a smartphone (source data), October 2017 and April 2018
                                              • Use of new technology
                                                • Figure 60: Use of new technology in the last three months, April 2017-April 2018
                                                • Figure 61: Use of new technology in the last three months (source data), April 2017-April 2018
                                            • Online Activities – Market Commentary

                                                • Digital activity subdued in Q1
                                                  • More publishers exploring e-commerce
                                                    • Younger Millennials’ consumption and payment habits make them ideal targets
                                                      • Digital Generation will expect a more joined-up path to purchase
                                                        • Growth in voice continues, while Amazon shows developers the money
                                                          • Snapchat makes AR shoppable
                                                          • Special Focus: Online User Reviews – Headline Data

                                                              • Types of online user reviews read
                                                                • Figure 62: Online user reviews read in the last six months, April 2018
                                                                • Figure 63: Online user reviews read in the last six months (source data), April 2018
                                                              • Number of types of reviews read
                                                                • Figure 64: Number of types of online user reviews read in the last six months, April 2018
                                                                • Figure 65: Number of types of online user reviews read in the last six months (source data), April 2018
                                                              • Perceptions of online reviews
                                                                • Figure 66: Perceptions of user reviews vs professional reviews, April 2018
                                                                • Figure 67: Perceptions of user reviews vs professional reviews (source data), April 2018
                                                            • Special Focus: Online Reviews – Market Commentary

                                                                • Nearly two thirds read reviews, with leisure activities top of the list
                                                                  • Companies acting to combat growing concerns over fake reviews…
                                                                    • …but user reviews still seen as more impartial than professional reviews
                                                                      • Who’s reading and who’s writing?
                                                                          • Figure 68: Read or written product/service reviews on any device* in the last three months, by selected demographics, April 2018
                                                                        • Monetising the space where trust meets convenience
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                              • Abbreviations