Photographer: Adam Hester/Getty Images/Blend Images

One-Third of U.K. Adults Check Their Phone at Night

  • Four out of five U.K. adults had a smartphone as of June
  • Ten percent look at phone within five minutes of waking

A third of U.K. adults check their mobile devices in the middle of the night, according to a study from Deloitte that also suggested the pace of consumer adoption of smartphones will fall in the next 12 months.

The study of 4,000 people, published Monday, showed 10 percent of people look at their device immediately after waking, and 52 percent check within 15 minutes. The numbers are similar at the end of the day with 10 percent looking at their phone immediately before they go to sleep.

Nine years after the first touch-screen smartphone entered the market, four out of five -- or 81 percent -- of U.K. adults own one, rising to 91 percent for those 18 to 44 years old. The first quarter of 2016 saw the smallest year-on-year growth in that time. The pace of smartphone adoption “is slowing to a crawl” and may increase 2 percent to 4 percent in the next 12 months, from 7 percent in 2015, Deloitte said.

“For the first time we have captured data on the U.K. population’s nocturnal smartphone habits and have found that the smartphone is truly a 24/7 device," said Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte. The research shows consumers “need to learn how best to run their lives with smartphones, as opposed to having their lives run by their devices.”

More than a third of 18 to 44 year olds have had disagreements with their partners over how much they use their smartphones, with 38 percent -- the highest percentage -- of 25 to 34 year olds saying their device had caused arguments. About 54 percent of smartphone owners use their phone while watching TV or films and 28 percent while eating in a restaurant with family or friends.

Fingerprint identification on smartphones is rising, with more than a quarter of phones now offering the security measure compared with very few in 2013, according to the study. Personal identification numbers and passwords are still the most-used form of protection with 63 percent of owners employing them.

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