Ofcom reveals which bits of tech are hot, or not, in the UK

Ofcom, the UK broadcasting, telecoms, and postal regulator, has carried out some research to reveal which items of technology are being bought and those which are fading from shopping lists inside the country. While the results are hardly surprising, there are a few items which you’d expect to be doing a little better.

The big winners in the technology space are smartphones, smart TVs, DAB (digital) radios, and wearables. Smartphones went from 17% ownership in 2008 to 78% in 2018, smart TVs went from 5% in 2012 to 42% in 2018, DAB radios went from 27% in 2008 to 64% in 2018, and wearables have gone from 3% in 2015 to 20% in 2018. These items were deemed the hottest devices because they continue to keep growing.

The next category of devices is those which have seen significant growth since launch but have either levelled off or begun to go into decline. This list consists of tablets which 2% of people owned in 2011, rising to 58% in 2018, e-readers such as the Kindle were owned by 2% of the population in 2010 and stands at 26% now but it has since plateaued, and lastly, digital video recorders were owned by 56% in 2018, up from 20% in 2008 but figures are now declining.

The last category is those that are firmly on the decline. This list includes desktop PCs, MP3 players, and DVD players. Desktop PCs have shrunk from 69% in 2008 down to 28% in 2018, MP3 players have declined from 44% in 2008 to 27% in 2018, and DVD players have dropped from 83% in 2008 to 64% in 2018.

Beginning this year, Ofcom says it has also started measuring VR and smart speaker ownership, it said that in 2018, smart speakers had a 13% ownership rate, while VR had just 5%. VR will be an interesting category to watch in several years once it becomes a bit more compact and better supported by software developers.

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