The number of Irish people using smartphones, 4G and the Android operating system have all been revealed in a new ComReg survey.
ComReg has posted the results from its national Mobile Consumer Experiences Survey for 2019, suggesting that 84pc of Irish consumers own a smartphone, with just under half (47pc) of those aged 65 or over owning one.
When looking at the bigger picture, 98pc of the survey’s 2,838 respondents said they now have some form of mobile phone.
Since 2017, 4G adoption across the country has increased by 20 percentage points to 62pc, as networks have already begun – or are soon expected – to launch their own 5G mobile networks.
In terms of communicating, the number of messages being sent has increased from 19.71 messages per day through a variety of apps in 2017 to 28.75 per day in the latest survey. However, SMS use has taken a hit, falling from 15.37 messages per day to 11.55.
Irish phone owners also appear to be loyal to their network providers, with 71pc staying with a provider for three years or more. While 58pc of those aged between 18 and 24 fell into this bracket, it increased to 81pc for those aged 65 and older.
Use of social media and streaming video has increased compared with the previous survey, now standing at 64 minutes and 53 minutes per day, respectively. However, internet browsing has almost halved from 56 minutes per day to 32.
Loyal to the brand
Looking at operating systems, Android remains the dominant platform, with 68pc of respondents saying they use the Google product and the remaining 32pc using iOS. Samsung Galaxy was the most popular phone brand, with 40pc saying they owned one of the South Korean company’s phones, followed by the iPhone at 32pc. Huawei was the next largest competitor at 12pc of the market.
Just over a quarter (27pc) of Irish mobile users, on average, have kept their current phone for between three and five years, with 26pc keeping it for only two years. Just 9pc of those surveyed said they have had their phone for more than five years, while 20pc of respondents said they have bought a new phone in the last 12 months.
Pre-pay customers remain in the slight majority at 52pc. Meanwhile, bill-pay customers have seen their bills increase on average from €40.28 per month in 2017 to €42.31 in the latest survey.
Commenting on the survey, ComReg chair Garrett Blaney said: “Now more than ever, electronic communications technologies permit people to connect in ways that they have never done before. The digital era is constantly evolving and is already central to our economy and society.
“While Irish consumers are enjoying the benefits of the digital era, they also need protections from various forms of harm while online, however, this protection should not stifle innovation.”