Smartphone growth has stalled in the UK

Darren Allan

July 14, 2011

Smartphones are huge business, right? They’re the future, everyone’s buying one, the rise of Android has been spectacularly explosive, new models from HTC and Samsung have played a blinder in terms of sales…

Everything you hear about smartphones is generally positive, but not so the latest poll from YouGov. In fact, the organisation believes smartphone growth has stalled in the UK over the last half a year.

Polling some 4,000 UK adults, YouGov found that over the last six months, the number of folks using a smartphone had only risen by a very small amount, just 2%. As of the end of last month, 35% used a smartphone, up from 33% at the end of 2010.

Although the poll was broad and covered all age ranges, so this is to an extent a generational thing, with older people just not seeing the benefits of smartphone ownership.

The YouGov research showed that when it came to over-55s, only 14% had bought themselves a smartphone.

When it came to future upgrading plans, of those who had a feature phone, half of them said they would stick to a “dumb” handset when it came to their next model. A third indicated they’d upgrade to a smartphone, and the rest weren’t sure which path they’d take.

Smartphones are a male dominated market too, with 59% of owners being men. YouGov seems to think that smartphone manufacturers should be doing a better job of pushing handsets to older folks and women if they want to carve out more UK market share.

However, with at least a third of future upgraders eyeing a smartphone, it’s clear the numbers are only going to go in one direction.

Particularly if smartphone manufacturers can work on important issues which some see as stumbling blocks, such as the battery life which gets quickly diminished by the smartphone’s chunky processor and large screen.

Not everyone wants to charge their phone every night when a feature phone can go a week on a single serving of juice.


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