Irish consumers are beginning to change their habits to curb their smartphone addictions, according to a new report from Deloitte. 56% think that they are using their phones too much, an increase from 50% at the same time in 2017. Irish smartphone users currently look at their phones 55 times a day on average – down from 57 last year.

Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer Survey is a comprehensive survey of over 1,000 Irish people to assess their behaviour and usage of mobile devices and their views on this. This year’s survey reveals that a massive 97% of Irish consumers have access to some form of mobile phone (smartphone/phone), with 93% having access to a smartphone, and that 98% of smartphone owners use their devices on a daily basis.

Commenting on the report Richard Howard, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte, said: “In the 2018 Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey we have started to see a balancing in our addiction to smartphones. Irish consumers appear to be recognising the over-reliance we have on our devices, and are beginning to make conscious efforts to reduce screen time. 2018 is also the year where we are finding the phone starting to replace cash and cards as a primary means of payment, which highlights how the smartphone has become intertwined into our daily lives.”

Are we using our phones too much?

35% of people surveyed said that they experience increased levels of distraction as a result of using their mobile phones when trying to complete a task. 50% of us believe our partners use their mobile phones too much and 1 in 5 consumers believe that their parents use their mobiles too much. 13% of Irish adults admit to checking their phones over 100 times a day (down from 16% in 2017) while 20% of Irish adults check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up (down from 27%).

What are we using our phones for?

The survey reveals that 73% of people have used mobile/online banking on their phones, a 5% increase on 2017. In fact, mobile phones are the preferred device for checking bank balances across 50% of respondents, and 52% use a contactless payment app.

41% of Irish consumers pay for a music subscription: Spotify is the leading player in the Irish market with 33% of those surveyed subscribed to the service. 35% are subscribed to a newspaper in return for exclusive reporting. 27% stream a film or TV series at least once a week: Netflix is the most popular subscription service among respondents with 53% having access to the service. 16% purchase a product online at least once a week; 33% use their phones to monitor their fitness levels. The majority (68%) of 18-24 year olds watch live videos or stories on social media on a daily basis.

79% of Irish people use their smartphones for work-related business activities.

How do we secure our devices?

There has been a 9% growth in the use of fingerprint recognition year-on-year, with 39% of Irish people now regularly using the function to authorise transactions. However, the overall uptake is reluctant with 84% still using a PIN.

87% of consumers report being concerned about how online companies share their personal data with third parties. Despite this, 23% say that they always accept terms and conditions without reading them. 9% of respondents claimed that they have never shared personal information online.

What factors influence us when buying a new phone?

51% of Irish consumers are purchasing their new phones in store (down from 55% in 2017). 81% of Irish people consider the quality of their mobile network’s data coverage to be very important. Pay-as-you-go is the most popular payment plan among 18-24 year olds, with 76% opting for this. Across all Irish respondents, 41% opt for this payment plan.

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