Paris, 27 November 2015
The Electronic communications and postal regulatory authority (ARCEP) and the General economic council, CGE (Conseil général de l'économie) are publishing the results of the annual survey on the adoption and use of information and communication technologies in France. Carried out in June 2015 through face-to-face interviews with a sample of 2,209 users who are representative of the French population, ages 12 and up, this benchmark survey concerns digital equipment ownership and the consumption of digital services.
1. Data traffic exploding as a result of the smartphone and tablet boom
Ownership levels for touchscreen tablets and smartphones continue to rise at a steady pace, increasing by six and 12 points, respectively, since last year. 35% of the population own a tablet and more than one in two people in France own a smartphone.
Ownership and internet access levels
Smartphone adoption is having a very strong influence on increasing use of the mobile Internet. Virtually all of the uses made of mobile phones increased by eight to nine points during the year. More than half of all people (52%) use their mobile to browse the Internet, 44% use it to download applications and 36% to find a restaurant, bar, etc. on a map. Messaging apps (WhatsApp, Hangouts, etc.) are used by 25% of mobile phone owners.
2. More people today have a mobile phone than a landline phone
Ownership levels for mobile phones increased by three percent during the year, and for the first time exceed landline telephone equipment levels (89%). In 2015, 92% of those polled say they own a mobile phone. This trend is further confirmed by the rise in calling volumes: close to two thirds of voice calling traffic in Q2 2015 came from mobile phones (1).
3. The vast majority of French people are internet users (84%)
Long close to the percentage of people in France with internet access at home, the percentage of internet users in France continues to rise, and stood at 84% in 2015. All French people between the ages of 12 and 17 are internet users.
A very high percentage of internet users are daily users: 81% or 68% of the population of France, ages 12 and up. This figure stands at over 90% for certain sections of the population: 18 to 24 year olds (94%) and people with senior management positions (90%), for instance.
4. New uses emerging
What were already popular applications continue to be more widely adopted: 51% of French people listen to or download music from the Internet; 35% watch or download films, videos and TV programmes; 37% watch TV online, either live or in catch-up; 52% use social networking sites. Among those who use social media, the percentage that use these sites as their main source of news shot up by 17 points between 2012 and 2015.
Among emerging uses, smart home applications are becoming increasingly popular in France. The percentage of those who plan on using smart home solutions in future (e.g. to operate devices or appliances remotely) increased from 25% to 33% between 2011 and 2015, while the percentage of those who already use this type of product rose from 4% to 6% during that time.
e-books are also becoming increasingly popular. Their adopting rose by 16% to 20% between 2011 and 2015, virtually doubling from the rate of 4% to 8% four years ago. Measured for the first time this year, connected and wearable devices used for health and fitness purposes have been adopted by 28% of French people, smart scales by 24% and sleep tracking devices by 21%.
Consumers continue to be very concerned about protecting their personal data: 83% are worried that these data will be used for commercial purposes.
The need for trust is felt especially keenly in the sensitive area of health, but a more general expectation is taking shape. Lack of trust is an impediment to the use of e-commerce, and most consumers (52%) do not trust the opinions, comments and reviews displayed on websites.
(1) Source: ARCEP, Electronic communications market observatory.
The presentation of the survey (pdf - 1.44 Mo) (in French)
The complete findings of this survey (pdf - 2.05 Mo) (in French)