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Irish people check their phones on average 50 times a day

Irish women are using their phone more than men

66% say they are trying to limit their phone usage

Irish people check their phones on average 50 times a day, down from 55 in 2018, with women at an average of 54 times and men at an average of 46 times, according to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2019.

32% of all respondents check their phone within five minutes of waking (for purposes other than switching off their alarm), while 4% admit to checking their phone over 200 times per day. 66% say they are trying to limit their mobile phone usage. The survey also reveals that 96% of Irish people own a mobile phone, with 91% owning a smartphone.

With no change from 2018, 56% of respondents feel that they are using their mobile phones too much. Three in ten indicated that over-use of their mobile phone meant they had increased levels of distraction when performing a task (29%), were not getting to bed on time (28%) or that they constantly felt they had to check their phone (26%).

Commenting on the report Daryl Hanberry, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte, said:

While adoption rates of smartphones near their natural peak, with 19 in every 20 adults in Ireland owning one, the role of these devices in our lives has plenty of scope for growth. No other device can emulate its range of capabilities and at least for this generation, the smartphone may be one of a kind. While other devices are available, ownership of smartphones is far higher, and the functionality of many devices is being replicated by smartphones at an increasing pace. The rollout of 5G globally in 2020 will compound this, improving smartphones’ processing capabilities.
While ownership rates may be approaching a ceiling, the smartphone economy is just getting started and it is an industry brimming with potential. The smartphone is likely to remain the most owned, most used and most personal device amongst Irish adults for many years to come.

What do we use our mobile phones for?

Accessing WhatsApp is the most popular use of apps among smartphone users in Ireland, with 85% of respondents using their smartphones for this purpose. The next most common use of smartphones is work email (72%), followed by making phone calls (60%). 28% stream a movie or TV series on their mobiles at least once a week. Interestingly, 21% of respondents indicated they would switch to a 5G network as soon as it is available.

The average consumer has 2.7 online paid subscriptions.

How do we protect our devices and data?

86% of respondents admitted to being concerned about how online companies share their personal data with third parties, a decrease of just 1% since 2018. 81% believe that the companies they interact with online use their personal data. 69% also believe they share their personal data with third parties. 78% use PIN/password authentication to protect their mobiles, down from 84% last year. 39% reported using fingerprint recognition to unlock their mobile devices and authorise transactions, an increase of 5% year-on-year; meanwhile the use of facial recognition has doubled, at 8% in 2019, up from 4% in 2018.

Richard Howard, Partner, Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte said:

Privacy continues to be a concern for mobile users. In terms of consumers’ personal data companies need to be as transparent and as clear as possible in how they are using it in order to build trust with their customers.
Although a majority of respondents are still using a PIN or password as their primary means for accessing phones, there is a clear shift towards more secure biometric authentication, with the use of fingerprint and facial recognition continuing to rise. At the current rate of change, we expect biometric access controls to replace the PIN in the coming five years.

Ownership spread

Samsung remains the most popular smartphone brand among Irish consumers with a 34% ownership rate, followed by Apple with 30%. Huawei has grown its market share in Ireland from 7% in 2018 to 14% in 2019.

91% of Irish people own a smartphone; however in the Connaught/Ulster region this figure drops to 82%. Connected device ownership (smart TVs, games consoles, wireless speakers) peaks in Leinster at 82% and is at its lowest in Connaught/Ulster at 69%. Similarly, video on demand subscription rates are at 60% in Leinster and drop to 54% in Connaught/Ulster. With increasing national broadband coverage expected in the coming years, the divergence in use of mobile devices across regions could begin to decrease.

Despite this divergence in connected devices and smartphones, computer ownership across the country is relatively constant with a rate of 90% in Dublin, 94% in Leinster, 93% in Munster and 88% in Connaught/Ulster.

Issued by Murray on behalf of Deloitte

For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan


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087 6291453

Claire Quinn


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About Deloitte’s 2019 Mobile Consumer Survey

Deloitte’s 2019 Mobile Consumer Survey is the Irish data cut of Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, a multi-country study of mobile phone users around the world. The study comprises of over 44,150 respondents across 28 countries and six continents.

Other areas of interest dealt with as part of the survey include:

  • Devices
  • Smartphone brands and purchasing habits
  • Connectivity and operators
  • Application and services
  • Digital wellbeing
  • Mobile gaming
  • Advanced smartphone features
  • Data privacy

Data cited in the Irish report is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Irish consumers aged 18-75. The sample follows a country specific quota on age, gender, region and socio-economic status. Fieldwork took place during June 2019 and was carried out online by an independent research firm, based on a question set provided by Deloitte.

About Deloitte TMT

The Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry group brings together one of the world’s largest pools of deep industry experts – respected for helping shape some of the world’s most recognised TMT brands and helping companies of all shapes and sizes thrive in a digital world.