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Mobile devices in the UK - statistics & facts

Mobile device is a term used to describe an electronic device that can be held easily in the hand or has been designed with portability in mind. Examples of mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, e-readers, and handheld gaming consoles. In the UK, smartphones and laptops are among the most commonly owned devices within households, with wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers growing in popularity over recent years. An important feature of many mobile devices is their ability to connect to the internet and interconnect with other electronic devices, with many people across the UK owning at least one connected device.

Mobile device segments

In 2021, it is forecast that nearly 63 million people in the UK will be using a smartphone, a sharp increase from the 22 million people just ten years ago. Those aged between 16 and 34 are most likely to use such devices, although there has been a noticeable increase in smartphone usage in people aged 55 to 64. For tablet computers, ownership is highest in the 35 to 54 age category, although once again, it is those aged 55 years and above where the strongest uptake of tablet computers has been observed in recent years. In 2021, it is forecast that sales of tablet computers in the UK will equate to just under two billion U.S. dollars. This is far below the five billion U.S. dollars in revenue that is expected to be made from laptop sales in the UK during the same year.

Mobile device vendors

In terms of vendors of mobile devices, Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone and tablet markets in the UK. For smartphones, Apple’s market share stood at around 50 percent in 2019, while Samsung occupied 30 percent. For tablets, Apple and Samsung again ranked first and second, occupying 65 and 15 percent of the market respectively. Amazon has increased its share within the UK tablet market over the years, although it is within the e-reader market where the company performs strongest with its Kindle devices. Other mobile device markets, such as smartwatches, also see Apple and Samsung feature heavily, alongside the likes of Fitbit and Garmin.


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