Android phones still most popular, but Apple and Microsoft making inroads into market share.
New research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, an international consumer research company, has found that the majority of mobile users in the UK now have a smartphone.
The firmís most recent study, which covers the 12-week period leading up to 23 January 2012, found that just over half of the UK population (50.3%) now owns a smartphone. The research also shines a spotlight on the extent to which Britons are embracing mobile technology. During the study period (which included Christmas), 71.4% of mobile phones sold were smartphones, which have powerful processors and internet access.
With all the hype around the iPhone, it would be easy to assume that the majority of smartphone owners in the UK use Apple phones. However, according to Kantar Worldpanel, thatís not the case, as Googleís Android remains the countryís most used phone operating system. However, Apple has increased its market share, jumping from 21.7% of the British market a year ago to 29.1% now.
The news isnít so good for Nokiaís Symbian platform, which is now used by just 2.8% of mobile owners. Nokia is going through a transitional phase, moving from its own operating system to the Windows Phone 7 platform, so it may not be surprising to see Symbian use dropping.
While Windows Phone 7 has yet to set the UK sales charts on fire, it is starting to gain some traction. Over the last year, itís managed to claim 2% of the market - largely thanks to the Nokia Lumia 800.
Thatís significantly fewer users than the Apple and Google platforms, but promising news for Microsoft and Nokia all the same. Kantar Worldpanel predicts a positive future for Windows Phone 7, suggesting that market share will reach 8% by the end of the year.
All in all, itís good news all round for smartphone manufacturers. Interested consumers and a lively market bode well for phone sales in 2012. Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, agrees: ďFor the first time ever, you are now in the minority if you donít own a smartphone. With more people jumping on the bandwagon, there is huge opportunity for both retailers and manufacturers. However, the competition is intense.Ē
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