For the first time, smartphones become UK's favourite way to browse the web

A smart addiction

It's official: we've become a nation of smartphone addicts, with more people now using smartphones to get online than any other device.

That's according to a new study by Ofcom, which found that 66% of UK adults now own a smartphone, up from 39% in 2012, while 33% of internet users consider smartphones to be the most important device for getting online, compared to just 30% who favour laptops.

That's a huge shift from 2014, when just 22% looked to their phone and 40% chose their laptop.

It's probably no surprise then that as a nation we also spend longer online on our smartphones than other devices, averaging one hour and 54 minutes each day, compared to just one hour and 9 minutes for PCs and laptops.

4G's the key

That's likely in large part down to 4G, which allows us to get online in more places and at higher speeds than ever before. Its popularity is clear, with Ofcom noting that 4G subscriptions jumped from 2.7 million at the start of 2014 to 23.6 million by the end.

As 4G becomes more widespread and smartphones become more affordable these figures are likely to continue to grow. Already 90% of 16-24 year olds own a handset, while even in the 55-64 age group smartphone ownership has gone up from just 19% in 2012 to 50% now.

We still spend longer as a nation in front of the television than our phones, but on this evidence it seems it's only a matter of time before even that is toppled by smartphones.