Figures from communications regulator, Ofcom, have revealed that the percentage of the population owning a smartphone is higher in the UK than in any other European country.

The figures, published in Ofcom’s latest International Communications Market Report late last year, reveal that smartphone ownership in the UK rose from 24% in February 2010 to 46% in August 2011; an almost doubling in take-up which puts the UK percentage of ownership above all other European countries surveyed by Ofcom; including the second-largest, Spain, at 45%, and Germany at 32%.

The Ofcom survey also identified UK mobile phone owners as more prepared than those in the other European countries to use their phones for accessing the internet. The survey found that 46% went online via their phones in October 2011.

Those using the internet via their mobiles were also found to be more likely than those in other European countries to use it to play games, catch up on news, access a social media site, or participate in m-commerce.

The social media statistics were even more astounding, given that the percentage of UK mobile phone users with a social media profile claiming to use their phones to access a networking site was – at 43% – even higher than that of the US, which stood at only 30%.

One possible explanation for the UK’s lead in smartphone use might lie in Ofcom’s revelation that mobile phone services in the UK are 36% lower than those in the next cheapest country – France.

No doubt the UK will continue to lead the take-up of Smartphone use throughout 2012.