Whilst online surveys often overstate the uptake of technology, Ipsos MediaCT’s offline Tech Tracker data tells us that just over four in ten GB adults now own a smartphone, representing an increase of roughly 30% in the last two years. The rise of the smartphone has coincided with the increased popularity, and normality, of social media usage. Arguably the two are connected, the modern mobile device being the ideal format for keeping up-to-date, and updating, as it means people are always online, even when on the move.
Almost as many Twitter users access the site on their mobile (65%) as those who access it on their PC/laptop (67%). This is indicative of a growing trend of people becoming increasingly accustomed to using their smartphone to consume media and share ideas. The simplicity and ease of Twitter, coupled with the immediacy and convenience of the ‘private screen’, make the smartphone the ideal way to keep up-to-date on others, or update your followers, whilst you are ‘in the moment’.
The increase in smartphone ownership in the next few years will be mirrored by an increase in their sophistication. It’s already possible to watch movies and play games, but this experience is set to become enhanced as the quality of the graphics and the sharpness of the screens are improved. For many, current consumption is largely limited to wifi connection but 4G roll-out will inevitably take this out of the home.
The nature of smartphones, particularly iPhones with the legacy of the iPod, means that music was always going to be a big part of their functionality. Apps such as Spotify and YouTube have increased the normality of finding new music and sharing it on social media via mobiles.
The cameras on smartphones are delivering crisper images year on year, and indeed many smartphones are now on a par with the average digital cameras on the market. This, combined with apps such as Photoshop, and providers of add-on lenses, make it even more convenient for amateur photographers to think twice about packing their camera.
Together with the increased sophistication of smartphones, the connection speeds are due to be revolutionised as 4G is rolled out, and recent news of discussions between Everything Everywhere and OfCom suggests this might be sooner than we thought! The combination of accessible devices, with the ability to perform multiple functions, and 4G connection, are sure to initiate an acceleration in the normality of using a single screen to seamlessly perform a multitude of rich, multi-media functions.
For more discussion, do feel free to join us at our upcoming event on March 21st at Altitude – please register at www.ipsos-mori.com/spinnovation or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.