Ofcom just published a new report looking a ‘smartphone by default’ users. The report starts:


Ofcom commissioned ESRO to investigate the experiences of ‘smartphone by default’ internet users, and fieldwork was carried out in early 2016. The research project focused on those who conduct the vast majority of their online activities through their smartphone – either through choice or due to external factors limiting their access to alternative devices. The sample contained participants with a choice of alternative devices available to them, and those for whom alternative options were much more limited. Ofcom data show that approximately one in six adults now rely solely on devices such as smartphones and tablets for online access, and the trend is rising: at 16% in 2015, this is almost three times as likely as in the previous year (6%) .

The project aimed to investigate the ways in which heavy reliance on a smartphone could affect digital behaviour and media literacy. Furthermore, it sought to consider to what extent smartphones are enabling, or limiting, when used as a primary device for online access. It is important to monitor these issues, as unequal access to internet services can create new forms of exclusion.

Download the full report (PDF)

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