Mobiles and tablets account for a third of home web-browsing devices, claims Post Office

18-24 year olds were most likely to snub PCs and laptops

Nearly a third of UK households now use smartphones and tablets as the main internet-browsing device in the home, showing a general decline in the use of desktop and laptop computers, according to a report from the Post Office.

The ‘HomePhone and Broadband’ study found that 29 per cent of households relied fully on smartphones and tablets as the primary web-browsing devices.

However, laptops and PCs were still used by 44 and 26 per cent of households respectively although more portable platforms proved more popular with millennials.

Only 15 per cent of 18-24 year olds still use PCs as their main browsing platform, a figure which increases steadily with age - 40 per cent of over 55s still use desktops.

On the other hand one in ten 18-24 year olds admitted not even owning a PC or a laptop.

The Welsh cities of Aberystwyth and Swansea were reported to have the lowest levels of laptop or PC ownership in the UK with 17 per cent of households not owning either device.

The report found that one in eight homes regularly use the internet to stream media using services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube.

The 18-24 age range was the most likely group to consume content online with almost a fifth saying they stream video via their home broadband.

Hugh Stacey, head of Post Office HomePhone and Broadband, said: “Streaming and on-demand entertainment services respond to the needs of the time-poor consumer and our report demonstrates how the convenience of these entertainment channels is beginning to dominate the UK’s home browsing activity.

“While smart phones and tablets provide convenience when accessing the internet away from home, it’s interesting to see that they are now superseding the PC and laptop as the device of choice in nearly of third of households as well.”

Earlier this year the Post Office entered the mobile market, expanding its delivery service into the broadband industry in a deal with EE.

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