A twenty-fold growth in 18 months.
A phone isn't just a phone anymore. The birth of smartphones has made mobile a fashion accessory, a laptop, and a lifeline to the internet.
More than half of Brits now own one of the devices, and bizarrely they're making people feel wealthy.
The Consumer Attitudes Audit from Future Poll shows that 20 per cent of Brits reckon households need a smartphone to live above the poverty line. The belief has surged twentyfold from just one per cent 18 months ago.
Comparatively, 24 per cent think laptops are required to steer clear of the poverty line, up from ten per cent 18 months ago. This suggests Brits believe smartphones offer a better show of affluence.
Additionally, 44 per cent think wi-fi determines your riches (up from 30 per cent), 11 per cent say games consoles (up from three per cent), and 11 per cent cite MP3 (up from two per cent).
Tom Savigar, chief strategy officer, The Future Laboratory, said: "Less than two years ago, 1 in 100 people believed smartphone ownership defined the poverty line – today 1 in 5 think so. It’s a truly astonishing admission of how advanced technology is now regarded as an essential staple of modern life, not a luxurious extra."