UK Smartphone Demographics Analysed

Many people want to know what smartphones people use. It’s both interesting and for many in mobile marketing, very useful. The current figures based on information published by ICM and Comscore are as follows:

Android 13%
BlackBerry 10%
iPhone 9%
Nokia (proprietary and Symbian OS) 30%
Samsung (proprietary) 19%
Sony Ericcson (proprietary and Symbian OS) 8%
Others (HTC, LG, Motorola non-Android) 10%
Windows Mobile 1%

However, a more interesting approach is to look at who is using them the most. The following shows the top handsets and who is doing what the most:

% share of UK market Largest Gender Group Largest Age Group Largest Income Bracket Used third party Apps in the last month Used mobile Web in the last month
iPhone 9% 57% men 25-34 (33%) £30-£45k (25%) 50% 91%
BlackBerry 10% 53% women 18-24 (21%) £15-£30k (22%) 26% 80%
Android 13% 62% men 25-34 (29%) £15-£30k (30%) 37% 86%

HTC Desire: currently the most popular Android phone in the UK

Within each manufacturer the top used handsets are as follows:


iPhone 3GS  -32%
iPhone 3 -24%
iPhone 4 -21%


Curve -37%
Bold -19%


HTC Desire  -30%
Samsung Galaxy -15%

For some observers the figures are unsurprising. However it’s worth pointing out a few key facts. iPhone is a premium product so their largest demographic is in a higher income bracket than their competitors. BlackBerry has BBM. That means it has appeal to both a younger and is skewed towards women. Android (and BlackBerry) have cheaper models than the iPhone and thus appeal to lower incomes. Android also has a geekier reputation, so it tend to be more popular with men. iPhone users do the most of everything – they download more apps (nearly twice as many as BlackBerry) and browse the web more.

In the world of mobile strategy I often talk about brands being able to find their customers in the mobile landscape – figures like these demonstrate how that can be done. It seems though that mobile is more polarised than other technologies. For example, could you see if your customer base uses Toshiba laptops more than any other PC? Sure it may skew more towards one demographic more than another, but there’s no polarisation that you see in mobile.

The reason for that is simple. Mobile is more than just a choice of technology. Choices of lifestyle and identity also come into it. If you’re a teenager (especially a girl) and you don’t have a BlackBerry then you may end up out of the loop socially. If you work in the media then you probably want you colleague to see you have an iPhone. Our phones are with us all the time. Our friends and colleagues see what we use. Choices are, therefore, influenced as much by fashion as they are by functionality.

6 thoughts on “UK Smartphone Demographics Analysed

  1. Pingback: UK smartphone market share: iPhone, Android & BlackBerry « The Future of Mobile and Mobile Marketing

  2. Pingback: Smartphone ownership: it’s not about income, it’s about age « The Future of Mobile and Mobile Marketing

  3. Er, the information is shared on the blog, so yes it can be shared! There is no source link of the kind you are asking for. If you’re not familiar with their products, the have databases with heavily restricted logins (one pc per user).

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