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Four-fifths of new university and college students own smartphones

FOUR-fifths (82%) of new university and college students own a smartphone and at least 20 per cent have a tablet, a UCAS Media survey has revealed.

More than 11,000 freshers were asked in December last year about the type of handset they owned. Around 9,000 revealed they had a smartphone, capable of handling social media, web browsing and email and running apps.

The number of UCAS applicants who own a phone which can receive content at any time has risen by 122% since 2010, the results show.

Today’s students are over 40% more likely to own a smartphone that the overall UK population.

The survey by student marketing specialists UCAS Media found that taking photos (75%), web browsing (73%) and email (69%) are the most popular phone functions, after texting and calling.

Around 60% of respondents said they used their phone to access social media and 45% said their device also doubled as a music player.

University and college applicants are more likely to use social media than the UK population as a whole. Over 92% of applicants are facebook users, with 73% on twitter and 27% uploading pictures with Instagram.

Nearly 20% said they owned tablets, in response to the survey conducted shortly before Christmas 2012, suggesting that the proportion could now be far higher.

Keith Parkman, of UCAS Media, said: “Marketing professionals should picture students looking at content while travelling on the bus, rushing to a lecture or out socialising. They don’t have much time to spend looking at adverts and the impact has to be immediate.”

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