News Item

Users upgrading to smartphones

UK growth in smartphones - with a navigation capability - has been driven by consumers upgrading from non-smartphones.

Although there is intense competition between different smartphone platforms as manufacturers catch-up with Apple, in UK the growth continues through users upgrading from their old phones rather than switching between operating systems (OSs) - 74.3% of Android’s new sales came from the non-smartphone market, with only 1.4% of customers switching from iPhone.

'Global Consumer Insight' comments on the global market: 'We are yet to see any real signs of consumers switching between Android and Apple. Our data shows that Apple and Android’s customers are intensely loyal when choosing their upgrade.'

It adds 'One reason for this is the investment consumers make in their device through apps. In France for example, the average iPhone costs €215, and 17% of iPhone owners download more than 10 apps each month. This investment is then lost if they want to choose a different OS, as the apps are non-transferable.'

As a result of this growing competition, Apple lost market share in UK over the past quarter - it now holds 18.3% compared with 30.6% for the same period last year. But the iPhone 4 has been the top selling smartphone for the last 12 months.

BlackBerry market share continued to grow in UK - hitting 22.9% in the quarter. It appears to appeal strongly to the youth market, with 35.6% of customers aged 16-24.

Global Consumer Insight notes that with 63% of British consumers still owning a non-smartphone, future growth lays with upgrading customers. BlackBerry, with competitive pricing, is currently attracting the most upgrading shoppers - with 84.9% of its new customers previously owning a non-smartphone.

Data shows that most first-time smartphone owners look for lower prices - but a concern for brands targeting the lower end of the market is that once consumers have tried a smartphone, they are prepared to spend more on their next device and could turn to other brands.

So, with evermore consumers buying smartphones, the future for middle- to high-end smartphones is set to become more competitive.

Details from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech below.

  • 13 July 2011
  • LNLG

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