92% of adults expected to own a smartphone by 2023

92 per cent of adults in the UK will own a smartphone in five years according to business advisory firm Deloitte.
Gareth McKeown

A STARTLING 92 per cent of adults in the UK will have a smartphone in five years according to business advisory firm Deloitte.

In its annual predictions the company's technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice predicts that smartphone adoption will continue to grow in the next five years and by the end of 2023 will be by far the most used digital device.

More than 92 per cent of adults in the UK are expected to have a smartphone, rising from 85 per cent currently. Similarly, by 2023, more than 85 per cent of 55-75 year-olds are predicted to have a smartphone.

Deloitte predicts that global smartphone sales will be 1.85 billion per year in 2023, a 19 per cent increase on 2018 and equivalent to more than five million units sold every day. The company further forecasts an average selling price for smartphones of $350 (£253) in 2023, implying a total market value of $650 billion (£470 billion), versus $478 billion (£345 billion) in 2017.

In its research Deloitte expects that globally, one billion air passenger journeys – a quarter of all passengers – are expected to be on planes fitted with in-flight connectivity (IFC) in 2018, a 20 per cent increase on last year. The company predicts that UK airlines will increasingly adopt the technology from 2018, with IFC being commonly available by the end of the decade and meaning the airline will now longer be a connection-free zone.

Danny McConnell, partner at Deloitte in Belfast said the smartphone will take on a even more significant role in people's lives in the years to come.

“Over the past 10 years the smartphone has redefined how people live and interact with each other. Over the next five, the smartphone will enter an era of ‘invisible innovation', with under-the-surface improvements to connectivity, memory, sensors and artificial intelligence. Technology such as 5G and artificial intelligence will become prevalent, and this will have considerable ramifications for the work of business."

“The smartphone will drive much of the next phase of business process reinvention, providing a digital tool for the tens of millions of workers in the UK whose roles are not desk-based.The smartphone is a once-in-a-generation innovation whose full potential is far from realised," he said.

Deloitte also predicts that more than a billion smartphone users globally will create augmented reality (AR) content at least once in 2018, with at least 300 million doing so monthly. In the UK, half of all smartphone users will create AR content this year according to the study.

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