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Smartphones in the United Kingdom- Statistics & Facts

The smartphone market in the United Kingdom grew drastically over the past two decades. With roughly 80 million mobile cellular subscriptions, the UK smartphone market is forecast to generate revenues of over 12 billion British pounds by 2027. In 2021, 98 percent of British aged between 16 and 24 owned a smartphone, as did 69 percent of those over 65 years old.

Apple is ahead in the UK

Apple and Samsung are the clear market leaders, with the UK taking a particular shine to the Apple iPhone. Apple held over 50 percent share of the smartphone market in 2021, ahead of the 28 percent Samsung maintained. The operating system market shows a fairly even split between Apple and Android devices, with roughly 50 percent of active devices running iOS, and 48.5 percent running Android. The Android operating system runs on a large range of devices from a variety of manufacturers.

Apps remain a key attraction for smartphone users

Smartphones go well beyond a standard feature phone, due to their ability to run apps that take advantage of the phone’s computing power, internet connectivity, cameras, and GPS capability. In terms of downloads, Asda Rewards was the leading iPhone app as of September 2022, followed by the new BeReal and the shopping app Vinted. Similarly, Asda Rewards was also the most downloaded app on the Google Play Store, along with Stumble Guys and TikTok. By contrast, in the same period, Tinder was the highest-grossing iPhone app, while Coin Master was the most profitable Android app.

5G set to shape the smartphone market

5G – the fifth generation of mobile broadband technology – is set to shape developments in the global smartphone industry in the coming years. Mobile providers in the UK have been preparing the roll-out for some time, purchasing licenses to operate on 5G-relevant frequencies as early as 2018. Four carriers – EE, Hutchison 3G, Telefónica UK, and Vodafone – spent 1.16 billion British pounds to purchase spectrum in the 3.4 GHz range in 2018. Further auctions took place during 2021 covering 3.4GHz frequency and 700 MHz frequency, both relevant to 5G coverage. Overall, the cumulative costs of the 5G rollout in the United Kingdom are expected to reach 11 billion euros by 2040.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "UK smartphone market".


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