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App and running: Smartphone news views explode

App and running: Smartphone news views explode
An impressive 74 per cent more smartphone users in Europe’s five biggest countries now use their devices to follow the news than a year ago. And this may only be the beginning of the mobile news boom.

­Digital measuring service comScore says nearly 37 per cent of smartphone owners in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK surf mobile news websites, either through inbuilt browsers or specially-developed apps, with the latest data coming for January 2012.

Behind the growth – cheaper, faster internet access, allowing users to access more information, and watch videos rather than just reading text. Leading news outlets are also rapidly advancing their specialized apps – breaking down their once-unwieldy front pages for the small smartphone screens.

UK users are the most addicted to phone news – with nearly 47 per cent using their phones to be up-to-date on the latest events.

Statistics show that year-after-year users are becoming more adventurous (and skilled) in using their smartphones – which are literally miniaturized computers – for more than just making phone calls.

Besides, at the moment only around half the population in Europe’s big five has a smartphone at all, and with prices for entry-level smartphones falling all the time, manufacturers predict that eventually almost every phone will become a smartphone, capable of reading and watching the news online.

And with the phone likely to be closer to its owner than any other news source – computer or television – when a story breaks, it is likely to be only a matter of time when we the big events of our era will first be witnessed through a small screen clasped between fingers.