Dying Desktop: one in six people now mobile-only


More people are shunning desktop browsing in favour of apps

One in six adults in the UK now only use smartphones or tablets to go online – up 10% from last year.

Rising numbers of people are now replacing their PCs and laptops with mobile devices, rather than just supplementing them.

It comes as Microsoft’s quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates amid a continued slump in PC sales.

The firm’s net income fell to £2.6bn in the third quarter from £3.48bn a year earlier, pushing shares down more than 4%.

The OFCOM study also found that more than half of adults who use search engines did not realise the top items on many results pages are adverts or sponsored links.

The report said this indicated “there is a need for people to be more aware or savvy about the content they are accessing online”.

People are starting to settle into fixed routines online too – with figures showing a significant increase in the number of people who say they only use websites or apps they have used before.

The trend is seen more in those aged over 25, and OFCOM says it “points to a narrowing use of the internet”.

Their survey also found that 70% of adults use a smartphone, mainly for social media – but also the device of choice for most online activities.

As a result, the mobile phone is now the media device that people say they would most miss – overtaking the television set after decades of dominance.

That is partly due to the usefulness of modern smartphones – a quarter of users have used their devices as a boarding pass or ticket, while a fifth have used it to hail an on-demand taxi. SkyNews

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