The growing UK smartphone market

At the close of 2012, the UK had 82.5 million mobile subscribers, giving the market a penetration rate of 131 percent. End Dec-2012 there were 36 million active smartphones in the UK market, and a further 47 million active non-smartphones. Over 2013-2016 the smartphone installed base is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent, taking the number of smartphones to 44 million by the end of 2013, and on to 63 million by the end of 2016. While the number of smartphones grows rapidly, the installed base of non-smartphones will decline, dropping to 39 million by the end of 2013, and dropping much further to just 21 million by the end of 2016.

Currently, as of the end of 2012, the UK represents 11.7 percent of the regional smartphone base. By comparison, the UK market represents only 5.6 percent of the regional non-smartphone installed base. This difference highlights the fact that the UK is a regional leader, with above-average smartphone penetration. These percentages will decline as the rest of Europe catches up, but even by the end of 2016, the UK market will still represent 9.4 percent of the regional installed base of smartphones.

UK to pass 50 percent smartphone penetration soon

Smartphone penetration stood at 44 percent in the UK at year-end 2012, and 2013 will see the UK cross the 50 percent penetration mark, finishing the year with 53 percent smartphone penetration. We forecast this figure to keep growing, to reach 75 percent smartphone penetration by the end of 2016.

To learn more about the smartphone installed base, and the smartphone vs. non-smartphone market make-up in key regions and countries, please see our new report Worldwide Mobile Handset Installed Base 2012-2016