The smartphone as a Swiss pocket knife


Almost nine million Belgians use their smartphones to go online and are active on social media. This is one of the conclusions from a digital report by We Are Social and Hootsuite established in 2018.

In 2018 the number of mobile users in Belgium grew by 5% in just one year, taking the total number of users to 8.81 million. For now Belgians still prefer to browse on their laptop but while the laptop’s share in the overall browsing statistics is dwindling, smartphone browsing is booming.

Moreover, the report reveals that users spend seven times longer on mobile apps than on their mobile web browser. In other words, browsing statistics only touch the tip of the iceberg.

The report also details what type of activities smartphone users like to engage in. The results show that the smartphone has become something of a Swiss pocket knife with a wide variety of functions. More than one in three Belgians use their smartphone as an alarm clock, an appointment calendar and for making photos and videos. Checking the weather and reading the news are also popular activities, as well as making lists (shopping lists or to-do lists).

The number of people that bought something online in the month preceding the survey was already as high as those who made an online purchase on their laptop. For other activities mobile use is even higher: for instance, 84% of Facebook users consult their social network on their smartphone.

Source: Digital in 2018 in Western Europe, We Are Social & Hootsuite, 2018

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