Science & Tech

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Smartphones have become such a large part of our lives a third of adults feel the need to check them within five minutes of waking up.

Research released by Ofcom today found that 34 per cent of adults – 49 per cent of those under 24 – feel the need to check their phones within five minutes of waking up, while 85 per cent of adults consult their smartphones within the first hour of the day.

When asked by the broadcast regulator if they were “completely hooked” on their phones, 61 per cent of under-24s and 48 per cent of all adults agreed they were.

A report by the regulatory body said 2014 was the year in which the smartphone overtook the laptop as the favourite device for getting online. “What we have got is a landmark moment in the development of these devices,” said James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of research, at the unveiling of the regulator’s annual Communications Market Report.

Today 66 per cent of Britons own a smartphone, rising to 90 per cent among 16 to 24s. The Apple iPhone was the UK’s most popular smartphone brand, especially among the young, while the larger Samsung devices scored highly among older users.

The transformational impact of the smartphone is affecting almost all areas of communication and entertainment.

“These devices are becoming more and more an important, vital hub for communication and information throughout the day,” said Jane Rumble, Ofcom’s head of market intelligence. Television viewing declined for a second year in a row, with the amount watched by children (aged 4 to 15) tumbling by 12 per cent last year to less than two hours a day.

More: Quiz: are you obsessed with your mobile phone?

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