A new Ofcom report says smartphone ownership nearly doubled in the UK between February 2010 and August 2011 - increasing from 24% to 46% penetration - with take-up higher in the UK than in France (35%), Germany (32%), Italy (40%) and Spain (45%).
In addition, the number of people using their mobiles to go online was higher in the UK than in any other country surveyed. Almost half (46%) of UK internet users used their phones to go online in October 2011.
UK consumers were also more likely to play games on their phone (34%) and access news content (25%) than consumers in other countries.
The figures were reported in Ofcom’s sixth International Communications Market report, which looks at take-up, availability and use of broadband, landlines, mobile phones, TV and radio in 17 countries.
Other figures from the report showed that 79% of UK internet users had ordered goods or services online in 2010, 36% of UK homes owned a digital video recorder and 19% of UK broadband subscribers used internet telephone service.
Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, said “Across the globe people are embracing e-commerce and social media with enthusiasm. Our research shows that the UK communications market is performing well with prices, the range of services and innovation standing up well against international benchmarks. There are also issues which we will monitor carefully, such as the future roll-out 4G mobile services. We are pressing ahead with plans to release this valuable spectrum at the end of next year which will enable new mobile services for consumers.”