The changing face of mobile phones

Back in the early 2000 mobile phones were for making calls or sending the odd text. Now they’re a Swiss Army knife of connectivity – it's our camera, our map, our library, our TV and increasingly, the remote control to our homes.

25% of UK residents with internet access own a smart home device, which is roughly double the global average, putting the UK ahead in smart home adoption​.

  • Device Abundance: The average UK home now boasts 10 internet-enabled devices. This includes computers, tablets, phones, games consoles, smart TVs, and connected devices like security cameras and thermostats. Homes with children often have even more, averaging 15 internet-enabled items.
  • Smart Home Penetration: There are over 2.2 million smart homes in the UK. With devices ranging from coffee machines, fridges and pet-feeders!
    • Entertainment and Control: 79% of people use their smart home devices for entertainment, like smart speakers and VR headsets. Moreover, 50% of UK residents now own a smart speaker, which serves not only for leisure but also as a hub for controlling other devices​.
    • Smart Thermostats: These devices are the second most popular type of smart home device, favoured for their remote controllability and efficiency monitoring features​.

Sources: HouseGrail, Aviva, OfCom

Has everyone got a phone these days?

In 2008 only 17% of adults owned a smartphone, falling to just 4% in the over 55’s. By 2021 88% of all adults, including 78% of over 55’s were carrying smartphones in their pockets.  Unsurprisingly, it’s the 16-24 yr olds in top position with a massive 96% ownership.

Source: USwitch

Why so popular – form, fashion and function all play a role. The house-brick of the 90’s is long gone (although their battery life is still missed). Replaced with sleek phones, customisable to our own styles and compatible with pretty much everything.  

What’s next for the mobile phone?

Folding phones have already made a return to market, manufacturers are competing for better camera’s, battery life and audio quality but perhaps a more universal bug bear is the need for multiple chargers. A wireless universal charger would be a welcome sight in most households – but then what to do with all the old ones?

Eco-phones.  Is there demand for an ‘ethical is more’ approach - A more affordable set of environmentally friendly offers as the fashion industry is seeing?

Or will sci-fi become reality with holographic technology moving from research labs to our homes, schools and offices?

Wherever the market takes us there’s a very good chance the sleek bit of kit you own today will amuse Gen Alpha in years to come – ‘is that all it could do?!’

AI generated image of a holographic enabled smartphone