It’s hard to overlook the fact that smartphones in 2018 are more expensive than ever before, and a new survey from Deloitte shows not only what we’re doing on our phones, but that we’re holding onto them for longer than ever.

Considering the biggest brand flagship phones are costing as much or more than a laptop, it’s hardly surprising that the number of people with new phones has fallen to 58% from 61% in 2016 and many more people have older phones aged 18-30 months.

The number isn’t stark, but it is likely the beginning of a trend.

This Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey is nothing to shrug at either, with over 54,000 participants around the world – here in Australia its well over 2,000 people.

Peter Corbett from Deloitte didn’t think our obsession with the smartphone was wavering in any way “Over the last 10 years, the story of mobility has focused on access – the proportion of phone users is now unlikely to rise significantly,” Corbett said.

“What we are seeing now is a shift to understanding the many ways we can interact with mobile technology and the influence it has on human behaviours. The extent to which smartphones occupy our lives is growing, and overseas comparisons suggest we are far from peak usage.

“The smartphone is becoming even more central to the way we work (70% of us use smartphones for work, while 90% of businesses rank a connected work place in their top priorities), the way we access entertainment and how we carry out our daily lives.

“A consumer’s choice of phone impacts their access to the cloud, the expanding world of voice assistants, streaming services, smart home technologies, the ways people pay for goods and services, and even the ways they monitor their daily health.

“The impact of replacing a handset can now have significant influence on the services we access, which is another reason people are changing phones less often.”

The trend from both Google and Apple toward some form of screen time monitoring seems on point too, with 39% of Aussies saying they use their phones too often, but just 26% of them were successful in limiting their use.

And as we’ve noted recently, data is critical – 42% of customers have opted for 5GB or more on their plan, compared to 29% in 2017 – a huge jump in one year!

And if you think TV is dead, you’re misreading the room – the TV set may not be used as much, but TV is still big – particularly live TV with 23% of smartphone users watching Live TV each week (up from 19% last year and 6% in 2016), while 19% watch catch up TV another lift from 15% last year.

Perhaps indicative of the desire to keep our phones longer, or something about the plans on offer – more people are buying phones outright. 53% of iPhone X buyers in 2018 bought on a plan, down from 63% in 2017.

Bottom line, we love our phones, we’re watching more, but we’re getting smart and savvy about owning a phone – about time!