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More than 7 in 10 use their smartphone as soon as they wake up, Deloitte research finds

  • One-third would like passports, driving licences and other forms of ID integrated into their smartphones
  • Increase in number of people owning wearables, Smart TVs and video doorbells
  • More than one in three people admit to sharing streaming subscriptions with other households

04 March 2024: New Deloitte research shows that smartphone use is ingrained in our daily lives. A total of 96% of respondents say they own a smartphone, up from 94% last year. Mobile phones are now the preferred device for browsing shopping websites, making online purchases, online searches, banking and playing games.

The survey also found that about two thirds of adults (67%) wish they spent less time on their devices.

The 67% finding is up significantly from 51% a year ago with 18-34 year olds more likely than any other age group to think they are using their smartphones and other devices too much (82%).

Women are also more likely to want to reduce time spent on their devices with 74% expressing this view compared with 61% of men.   

A total of 98% of 18-75 year olds use their smartphone every day, with more than a third doing so during mealtimes and 74% saying they do so as soon as they wake up compared with 59% a year ago.

The survey shows the percentage of people who check their phone at least 50 times a day remains at 36% while the percentage who check theirs at least 100 times is also unchanged at 16%. Half of respondents (52%) say they tend to stay awake later than planned because they use their devices into the night. The number of people staying awake later than planned is up from 49% last year, and it’s up from 62% to 69% among 18-24 year olds and from 64% to 68% among those aged 25-34.  

While the research shows the majority of people want to use their smartphones and other devices less, some wish they could do more with them when they do use them.

Just over a third (34%) would like to replace their existing passport with one that is integrated into their smartphone and 33% would like their driving licence integrated. A total of 18% would like to use their smartphone to unlock their house and 17% to unlock their car.

There has been an increase in the number of people who own wearables, such as smartwatches, (50% to 67%), and Smart TVs (66% to 71%) in the last twelve months. One in five respondents (20%) say they have an external security camera or video doorbell, up from 16% a year ago. 

More than half of respondents use their smartphone or smartwatch to make in-person mobile payments. Almost two in five (38%) of adults regularly do so and 13% say they do so occasionally.   

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone market. A total of 37% of adults say they own an Apple phone and 38% own a Samsung phone. Apple remains the most popular brand among 18-34 year olds.

Aside from price, battery life, storage capacity and camera quality are the three most important features for consumers purchasing a smartphone.

Commenting on the findings of the Deloitte Consumer Trends report, John Kehoe, partner, Consumer & Technology Business audit and assurance group, said:


These results re-affirm how important the smartphone is in our daily lives and show that it is likely to further consolidate its status as the most successful consumer device. While many people wish they could reduce the extensive amount of time they spend on their smartphones, it is clear that they are the preferred devices for everything from banking to online search, browsing, playing games and shopping. People are now increasingly using their phones to make in-person payments and our survey shows many would also like to use them for identity identification too, which is something that is likely to become possible in the future. The European Parliament and Council of the EU have already started to move towards the adoption of ID technology by reaching final agreement on European Digital Identity Wallets, a move which is now subject to formal approval. If approved, the wallets will serve as a form of national ID card which could be used for both online and offline public and private services across the EU.


The survey included questions on entertainment. A total of 74% of respondents have access to video streaming services with the average person having more than two. Netflix is still the market leader at 62% and Disney+ continues to grow, up 3 percentage points to 36% compared to 33% in 2022.

Close to a quarter (24%) of respondents cancelled a video streaming service in the last twelve months with the main reason being that it wasn’t used enough (33%), was too expensive (24%) or they need to spend less on subscriptions due to the rising cost of living (23%).

The number of people who resubscribed to a streaming service they had previously cancelled increased from 12% to 16%, but 41% did not change their subscriptions in the current year, a figure that remains consistent with the previous year.

More than a third of subscription holders (36%) say they share access to their accounts between two or more households. The incidence of sharing is most widespread among the youngest age group with 60% of 18-24 year olds sharing an account.

A total of 36% of all adults say they would pay extra to keep sharing a video subscription account if their provider prevented it, but 7 out of 10 say they would not consider taking out a second account at full price. When it comes to paying for streaming services, the majority of respondents (31%) say they would still prefer to pay a full-price subscription with no ads.

Commenting on the entertainment findings, Colm McDonnell, partner and Head of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications, said: 

We’re seeing more streaming services explore new payment models for subscribers and our reports finds that while full-price subscriptions and no ads is the most popular payment method for consumers, around 1 in 10 would prefer half-price subscriptions and 5 minutes of ads per hour during each programme or before each programme. At Deloitte, we believe providers are likely to shift from growth at all costs to making it easier for all their subscribers to get enough value for the price they pay. It is likely that providers will start to introduce an increased number of on demand tiers for customers to choose from. This will include options from cheap ad-supported offerings and gated content to premium tiers with instant access. Users may find it harder to wade through the options, but tiering could help them get more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.

Issued by Murray on behalf of Deloitte


About the Digital Consumer Trends Survey

The Deloitte Digital Consumer Trends report – formerly known as the Global Mobile Consumer Survey – is an annual survey of consumers which explores their digital usage and attitudes towards technology. The survey was carried out in August 2023, with 1,000 people between the ages of [18 and 75] in Ireland were surveyed.