UK households: ownership of mobile telephones 1996-2018

Mobile telephones have become increasingly relevant to many aspects of modern life, a phenomenon that is evidenced by the development in the rate of households owning a mobile telephone. Currently, approximately 95 percent of households in the United Kingdom (UK) own a mobile phone, a figure that has remained constant since 2015. That sits in stark contrast with 2000-2001, when less than half of all households in the UK reported owning a mobile telephone.

Smartphones leading the charge

  Given their role as the digital swiss army knife of modern tech, it is no surprise that smartphones are behind much of the growth in this space. Smartphone adoption reached 78 percent during the first half of 2018, up from 29 percent at the beginning of 2011. Smartphone ownership drops off steeply for users aged 55 or older, with just 55 percent of residents in that age group reporting that they own a smartphone compared with 95 percent of people aged from 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 years of age.  

Apple on top

    The smartphone market is evenly divided between iOS and Android, indicating that Apple is the UK’s preferred smartphone manufacturer. In April 2019, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone 8 claimed 24 percent of the market during April 2019, taking three of the top five positions. 

Percentage of households with mobile phones in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1996 to 2018

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Release date

January 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1996 to 2018

Special properties


Method of interview


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Statistics on "Mobile communication industry in the UK"

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