SMARTPHONES and the "apps" that run on them have been added to the updated basket of goods and services used to calculate UK inflation rates.
Phone applications are replacing mobile phone downloads, such as ringtones and wallpaper, while the updated basket will also include dating agency fees for the first time, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The latest snapshot of the nation’s spending habits also showed the addition of sparkling wines due to their increased consumption.
As new legislation is coming into force this year restricting the sale of cigarettes, vending machine cigarettes are being removed from the basket.
Other casualties include the pork shoulder, which is being replaced by oven-ready joints as people consume more prepared foods.
The ONS collects about 180,000 prices every month for a basket of about 650 goods and services - the most comprehensive survey of its kind in the UK.
Changes in the prices of the items are used to compile the two main measures of inflation - the Consumer Prices Index and the Retail Prices Index.
ONS statistician Phil Gooding said: "Many of these new items show the way technology is changing our lives. Powerful smartphones and the applications that run on them have become essential for many when communicating or seeking information.
"Likewise, increasing numbers of people now seek a partner via internet dating sites."
Other changes to the basket will see television prices collected differently, with the price of TV sets bigger than 32 inches being measured separately. This is to reflect a change in the market as many households now have "home cinema" systems.