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UK public ‘becoming smartphone zombies’

The British public are constantly glued to their smartphones as device adoption reaches new heights, according to research from Deloitte.

The survey of more than 4,150 16-75 year-olds revealed that 85 per cent of Brits (41 million people) now own or have access to a smartphone.

More than half of respondents admitted to using their phone while walking (the equivalent of around 22 million people) and a quarter of 16-19 year-olds respond to messages they receive in the middle of the night. Worryingly, more than 4.5 million people (11 per cent of respondents) also admit to using their smartphones while crossing the road.

More than a third (34 per cent) of respondents look at their smartphones within five minutes of waking, and over half (55 per cent) do so within a quarter of an hour. At the end of the day, more than three-quarters (79 per cent) check their smartphones within the last hour before going to sleep.

The research also found that 55-75 year-olds are the fastest-growing adopters of smartphones.

Paul Lee, head of research for technology, media and telecoms at Deloitte, said: “Most people can relate to ‘smartphone zombies’, either through being one or bumping into one. But this is just one indication of just how infatuated we are with these devices, for better or worse.

“While we may be glued to our smartphones, it is important to acknowledge that these devices are also, increasingly, the glue that is binding society together, and will soon become the primary way to communicate, interact and transact with customers and fellow citizens.”

Written by Anthony Strzalek