Smartphone and internet use in France soars

Smartphones are the number one device in France and are growing fast, with over three quarters of French people said to own one and use it to go online almost daily, a new study shows.

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Almost all (94%) of the population has some kind of mobile phone, and 76% go online every day, according to the most recent report from the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (l’Arcep (Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes)); the General Council for Economic Affairs (le Conseil général de l’économie (CGE)), and the Digital Agency (l’Agence du numérique), reported in French newspaper Le Monde.

Overall, the report shows significant growth in the smartphone sector, internet use, and internet-connected mobile devices in general, with 73% of French people now owning a smartphone, compared to just 28% who had one in 2012.

Similarly, 44% own a tablet device now: a huge rise up from just 4% when the device first appeared on the market six years ago, the report said.

Over eight in ten French people (85%) have Internet connection at home, and only 12% say they had never been online: down from the 15% who said the same in last year’s report.

The report showed that 75% of the population goes online everyday, compared to the 68% who said the same two years ago.

Over two thirds (67%) say they use the Internet for administrative tasks, and 61% use it for online shopping. Over half (54%) say they go online for work every single day, up from 46% who said this four years ago.

And while 81% of the population now has a computer at home, households connected to a landline have dropped by two percentage points, down to 86% nationally.

Unsurprisingly, the young are more likely to be connected at home; of those aged 12 to 17, 95% have a home computer, compared to 52% for those aged 70 or over.

In fact, the number of people who have a computer at home has actually dropped two percentage points in five years, as mobile devices become more prevalent, especially among young people.

Mobile appears king: now, 42% of the French public said they prefer to use their mobile smartphone to connect to the internet, versus 38% who prefer the desktop or laptop computer, and 7% who prefer to use a tablet.

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