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Half of Britons own a smartphone

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UK smartphone stats published

More than half of the UK population now owns a smartphone, according to the latest figures.

The finding comes as part of a major mobile survey spanning 40 countries, entitled Our Mobile Planet, published by Google in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association. It was discovered that smartphone penetration among over 16s reached 51 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, up from just 30 per cent a year earlier.

Only 5 other countries have a smartphone adoption rate of more than 50 per cent, namely Sweden, Norway, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Meanwhile, a further seven countries have an uptake of between 40 and 50 per cent – Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the US and New Zealand.

Smartphone behaviour trends

Focusing specifically on the UK, the study revealed how users interact with brands on the move. Approximately 85 per cent of people look for local information using their smartphones, while 81 per cent follow up informational searches by taking action, such as visiting premises or making a purchase.

Elsewhere, it’s apparent that the commerce sector is in the vanguard of the smartphone revolution. A remarkable 95 per cent of users have researched products or services on their mobiles, with 31 per cent proceeding to buy directly through their devices.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: “Our Mobile Planet shows that smartphones have now become the norm in the UK. With adoption rates rising from 30 per cent to 51 per cent in just 12 months, it’s clear that businesses can’t afford to let their mobile marketing strategy slip by the wayside.”

Written by Richard Frost

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