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Digital Consumer Trends 2022

Devices: Growth on pause, for now.

Deloitte Digital Consumer Trends is a global survey on technology, media and telecommunications. Fieldwork takes place annually to ask people how they use, experience, and buy all manner of digital products. In the UK, questions were asked to a nationally representative sample of 4,160 people between April and May 2022.

In this special report, Deloitte will cover device adoption and usage. It poses questions about which devices people have access to, and how often they use those devices. It compares the trajectory of saturated markets like smartphones, with newer markets like voice assisted speakers and virtual reality headsets. And it speculates on our future relationship with devices amid the economic squeeze.

“A question we are perennially asked is: what is the new smartphone? In our view, there is no device which has the same combination of processing power, connectivity, screen, user interface and security that has even a remote possibility of displacing the smartphone. The device most likely to replace our current smartphone… is our next smartphone. But looking ahead for the next 12 months, consumer confidence will have a major influence on demand for devices. The industry needs to prepare for longer replacement cycles, by looking to supplementary revenue streams and strategic partnerships.”
Paul Lee

As the pandemic dwindles, are we headed back outside? In the past year, ownership and usage rates for smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, wearables and voice assisted speakers have softened. This strikes a contrast with 2021 when device penetration surged, driven by lockdowns that lasted long enough to give the impression that temporary habits had become permanent. As a result, some devices may now be in post-growth territory. Indeed, other threats now loom on the horizon. The income squeeze is set to intensify, and the post-pandemic snap back in consumer spending is over. If we own fewer devices and use them less often, that makes the time we spend on devices even more valuable – vendors need to make the most of it. As this “new, new normal” sets in, vendors may look to develop a suite of services, from storage to content, which requires new skills and partnerships.

To learn more about our Digital Consumer Trends 2022 reports, download our report and contact our TMT Insights team.

Question asked: When was the last time you used each device? [Last day]

Key findings


This year's research revealed that:

Finding 1

As the pandemic subsides, adoption of devices has plateaued in 2022, with smartphone, laptop, tablet and smart TV ownership either stalling or falling.

Finding 2

Smart home devices are no exception. After a surge in 2021, people with access to smart lighting systems remained at 13% - the same level as last year.

Finding 3

Daily usage of most devices has also fallen - 61% of people are using voice-assisted speakers every day, but 66% of people did so last year.

Finding 4

VR headset access has remained at 8% for the last four years. But usage has increased, with 18% of those with access to one claiming to use it daily.

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