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‘Smartphone users to exceed PC Internet users by the end of the year’, finds study

Brits are obsessed with smaller screens; so much so in fact that smartphone users will surpass the PC Internet usage by the end of the year, according to a report.

The average smartphone user now spends an hour and three quarters a day online, noticeably more than the equivalent on PCs and tablets, according to an Enders report. Phones account for nearly half of all time spent online, a statistic backed by a recent Ofcom survey that found smartphones have already overtaken laptops as the UK’s preferred device for going online.

Smartphone penetration in the UK will hit 83 per cent by 2020, predicted Enders. “All in all we expect connected time in 2020 to be 21 billion hours higher than in 2015, up over 35 per cent,” added researchers.

Advertising budgets are not flowing into mobile as fast as people are using them to do more things. Indeed, commercial revenues via smartphones and tablets still trail their share of internet usage though ad spend on smaller screens is close to matching that spent on PCs, according to the research. Smartphones gained 27 per cent of internet search and display ad budgets last year, up 8 percentage points on 2013. Ecommerce sales rose to 36 per cent in the period, up from a quarter.

It is the latest report to highlight the breadth of untapped opportunities for brands on mobile. However, factors ranging from viewability to quality inventory, blunt analytics to tougher costs controls, have slowed the flow of budgets into mobile. Many marketers are mindful of the medium’s potential but don’t feel they have the capability or understanding to fully exploit it.

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