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While stockings across the nation will be packed with new technology this Christmas, spare a thought for the 19 million technophobes who’ll be baffled by Santa’s electronic gifts. Indeed, new research from Mintel’s iPhone Generation report finds that despite the age of technology, today nearly half (47%) of all Brits admit to being ‘Tech-novices’.  Although one in five (19%) of us can’t live without technology, and as many as a third (33%) of 16 to 24 year olds claim that their lives would be ‘impossible’ without new technology, nearly half the population describe themselves as “tech-novices”- admitting that they know very little or nothing at all about new technology.
Only a quarter (26%) of Brits can be described as ‘Tech-competent’, considering themselves to know a fair amount about new technology, with around the same number (27%) confident enough about their own knowledge and competence to be classified as ‘Tech-savvy’.Suzanne Smith, Senior Consumer Analyst at Mintel, said:
“We now live in a world dominated by technology, with software and hardware everywhere. However, not all consumers feel equipped to deal with this technologically minded world. Tech-novices, are likely to appreciate more basic, user friendly versions of new technology items, without too many features or functions. They are also likely to greatly value the opinions of more ‘tech-savvy’ friends, who many turn to for advice.”
The smartphone revolution is here – and it’s changing the way we access the internet. Today, nearly 9 million (22%) Brits already own a smartphone such as an iPhone, and a further 11 million (28%) would like one.
” although internet-enabled mobile phones have been around for some years, it was the UK release of the Apple iPhone in 2007 that sparked major changes in the mobile phone market, and in the way UK consumers use their phones. Smartphones, together with the wide variety of applications (apps) that are now available, have made accessing the internet via mobile phone a much more user friendly experience. ” adds Suzanne.
Nearly three in five (57%) consumers listen to music digitally, either via an MP3 player (51%) and/or through a mobile phone (21%). However, only one in ten (11%) has given up other forms of music entirely, listening only digitally.
Indeed, the rise of the smartphone may herald the demise of the standalone portable music player. Mintel’s research suggest that the market for portable MP3s might be reaching saturation, with fewer than one in ten (9%) respondents saying that they do not have one at present, but would like one. While 46% Brits have one already, a third (33%) say they have no interest in owning one. However, when it comes to cameras, although nearly three in five (58%) consumers regularly take photos/video using their mobile phone, only 7% do so exclusively.
Meanwhile, around seven in ten (69%) consumers now shop regularly online. The keenest internet shoppers include men aged 35-44 (73%) and women aged 45-54 (77%). In addition, more than 24 million of us (61%) regularly manage our finances online and the internet is the most popular way for people to find directions (65%). Furthermore, just over half (52%) of consumers regularly book holidays and travel online and a third (33%) regularly use the internet to book tickets for the theatre, concerts and other forms of entertainment.
Home entertainment is also poised for dynamic growth. For many home entertainment products, prospective owners out number current owners. For example, Blu-ray player ownership stands at around 14%, but an additional 38% of consumers have ambitions to own one.