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Nearly Half of UK Consumers Will Use Smartphones This Year

Smartphone penetration highest among younger adults

The number of UK smartphone users continues to grow rapidly. There will be 30.9 million smartphone users in the country this year, eMarketer estimates, representing 48.4% of UK residents and 60.4% of UK mobile phone users.

eMarketer has significantly increased our projection for UK smartphone users since our April 2012 forecast. Based on new data pointing to faster-than-expected smartphone adoption, we revised our estimate for the total number of UK smartphone users in 2013 upward by 6.9 million.

In 2012 and early 2013, smartphone models such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, and the HTC One X attracted first-time smartphone users. Many older models that manufacturers reduced in price also enticed new users. eMarketer projects that by 2014, two out of three mobile phone users and 53.7% of the UK population will use smartphones. By the end of the forecast period, 43.4 million smartphone users will account for nearly 81% of mobile phone users and two-thirds of all people in the UK.

The vast majority of mobile phone users between the ages of 12 and 54 now use smartphones. Between 2011 and 2017, 18- to 24-year-olds will have the highest percentage of smartphone users among mobile phone users, while beginning in 2014 and lasting for the remainder of the forecast period, teens ages 12 to 17 will have the second-highest penetration out of all mobile users. Smartphone users ages 25 to 34 will be right behind in penetration rates. By 2017, smartphone user penetration among mobile phone users ages 12 to 44 will be between 94% and 98%.

Among adults, smartphone usage decreases with age, and this will continue to be the case throughout the forecast period. This year, 62.3% of mobile phone users ages 45 to 54 and 37% of those ages 55 to 64 will own and use a smartphone. eMarketer estimates that only 13% of mobile phone users 65 and older will be smartphone users in 2013.


The full report, “UK Mobile Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” also answers these key questions:

  • How will the UK mobile phone, mobile internet and smartphone audiences expand between 2013 and 2017?
  • How many mobile connections will there be in the UK between 2013 and 2017?
  • How will mobile usage patterns differ among UK males and females?
  • How will UK consumers’ age affect mobile usage?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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