The UK is an advanced digital market, where ownership of several digital devices has already reached a plateau.
More than eight in 10 UK internet users ages 16 to 64 polled in H1 2020 owned a desktop or laptop, and 57.2% owned a tablet, per GlobalWebIndex. Compared with H1 2019, PC ownership declined slightly, while tablet ownership rose.
Smartphone penetration climbed to 95.0% in the UK this year, from 92.6% in H1 2019. Interestingly, mobile was the only category in which the time spent figure increased from last year, according to GlobalWebIndex. Internet users in the UK spent an average 2 hours, 29 minutes (2:29) daily engaged with mobile in H1 2020. Yet PCs and tablets still claimed more than an hour more at 3:33.
Smart TVs are still growing in popularity. Almost half (49.6%) of UK internet users polled in H1 2020 had such a device, compared with 45.1% in H1 2019. In affluent households, nearly 57% owned a smart TV this year.
Smart home items are also gaining traction. Overall, the share of internet users who owned a smart home device—such as a web-enabled system designed to monitor household energy consumption—rose from 16.5% last year to 21.0% in H1 2020. Among respondents at the higher end of the income scale, that figure was 28.5%.
At the same time, some devices may be losing momentum, at least among the online population as a whole. Penetration of smart wristbands inched up to just 13.1%, for example—though ownership was higher (16.5%) among female internet users. Only 12.5% of respondents owned a smartwatch, and penetration was no greater than 17.5% in any demographic. Penetration of gaming consoles fell year over year (YoY) from 39.2% to 36.8%.