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In the UK, Smartphones Become the Rule, Not the Exception

Females more likely to own smartphones

Smartphone ownership in the UK has gone mainstream. According to eDigitalResearch and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), in January 2013, six out of 10 UK residents owned a smartphone. That’s up from last January, when just over half of the population owned smartphones.

The study found that Samsung has grown its slice of the market most significantly, even as Apple has done a good job of holding onto share.

The makeup of the smartphone audience has also changed during the past few years. While the earliest smartphone adopters tended to be male, females are now much more likely to own a smartphone. In 2013, the study found that 58% of smartphone owners were females, compared with 42% of males.

As smartphones become widespread in the UK, mobile behaviors are becoming more ingrained. According to eDigitalResearch and IMRG, more than half of UK smartphone owners shopped via their device, and more than one-third made purchases in January 2013. While that is a slight decline from 2012, it is clear that mobile buying is getting plenty of attention from consumers, even those who may have only recently converted to smartphones.

eMarketer’s estimate for smartphone users in the country is slightly lower, expected to reach 48.4% of the population this year and rise to 54% in 2014.


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