Mobile users with basic handsets will only trade-up once the price is right
The high cost of buying a smartphone in Britain is holding back UK demand, according to new YouGov research.
In a survey of more than 2,000 mobile users from the UK, almost half (47%) were owners of a high-performance, internet-connected device.
But the study revealed that, while demand for smartphones has rocketed in recently, market growth is now stalling, despite the remaining 53% still owning a far less-sophisticated "feature phone" lacking many of the latest technological developments.
Asked whether they plan to upgrade to a smartphone within the next 18 months, more than half claimed to be happy keeping their current device. In fact, only 16% said they would think about buying a smartphone at all - and the main hurdle seems to be price.
While 40% of feature phone owners said they "have no need" for a smartphone, an equal proportion of respondents said that smartphones are simply "too expensive" to consider.
John Gilbert, consulting director of YouGov's technology and telecoms team, said: "To address the various barriers to smartphone conversion requires a better understanding of the complacent and currently satisfied feature phone market.
"Smartphone features, such as the wide variety of apps, need to be communicated more effectively, as they will play an increasingly crucial role in handset selection in the future."
While Nokia remains the most popular brand of feature phone - with a 40% share of the market - in the smartphone arena it's Apple that dominates. Almost 30% of smartphone owners in the UK have an iPhone.
In second place, with a share of 20% is Samsung - responsible for the bestselling Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note devices - closely followed by BlackBerry (17%) and HTC (16%). Nokia has only a 9% share of the UK's smartphone market.
Gilbert commented: "This situation may be a case of Nokia coming to the smartphone party, too little and too late - their loss of share may be permanent."