Findings revealed recently from new research commissioned by Affinion International have highlighted the extent of Britons’ dependence on personal gadgets. The average consumer now spends over four hours per day using the various gadgets they own for personal, non-business related tasks – equivalent to an annual total of 60 days per year.
The report compiled by retail research specialists Conlumino finds that the average consumer’s daily gadget usage has seen an increase of an hour compared to just one year ago, and an increase of two and half hours compared with ten years ago. The findings have revealed the strong sense of dependence that Britons have for their personal gadgets and devices such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, laptops and e-readers. Today’s “always on” culture means that consumers spend the vast majority of their time connected to the world via these devices in one way or another, with eight out of ten confessing that they are never parted from their smartphone.
Smartphones have emerged as the most popular gadget, with 29% of people ranking them as number one in terms of importance. Accordingly, many consumers worry about losing their smartphone, and 65% say they would much rather lose other belongings – such their wallet, their credit card, their watch or their jewellery, or even £100 in cash – than their smartphone. The reasons for this vary, with 54% worrying about losing their smartphones principally because of loss of important data and 49% concerned mainly about personal or sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.
However, despite the high value that people attach to their gadgets, only a minority are protecting themselves against potentially expensive loss and damage. Even though 87% of respondents said they would not like to live without their smartphone, under a third of people have it insured. 64% of people do not have any of their gadgets covered by an insurance policy, despite 41% of respondents worrying about losing their devices and 25% worrying about being mugged.
Commenting on the findings, Affinion International’s Senior Vice President for Northern Europe, Giles Desforges said: “The massive increase in the amount we’re using our gadgets reflects how versatile and portable devices such as smartphones have become. People now use their gadgets on the go and while doing other things like watching TV, eating and socialising. What’s surprising, however, is that even though people seem to value their gadgets more than anything, relatively few people have insurance in place”.