The majority of UK mobile phone owners now have a smartphone, according to new research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
For the 12 weeks to 22 January, 71.4% of mobile sales in the UK were of smartphones. Android is still the dominant operating system, up 34.3% to 49.7%. Apple's iOS operating system is second with 29.1% share, up 34.1% on last year.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said: 'For the first time ever, you are now in the minority if you don’t own a smartphone. With more people jumping on the bandwagon, there is huge opportunity for both retailers and manufacturers.'
The research company predicted Windows could grow its market share to 8% by the end of 2012. Sunnebo said: 'Windows Phone 7 is also creeping up, taking over 2% of the market for the first time with the Nokia Lumia 800 taking the lion’s share. This looks set to continue with the expected launch of at least two new models at the Mobile World Congress conference.'
Sunnebo said one of Windows Phone 7's key draws is social networking, with 81% of owners using their devices for it during the past month, beating both Android and iOS.
However, in the US, Apple continues to beat Android. Its iOS had 48.4% of the US market compared with Android’s 42.6%. Sunnebo said: 'The jump we saw in Apple’s share last period was clearly not just a blip caused by the iPhone 4S release. Although the majority of growth is coming from the new handset, Apple’s latest pricing structure is also working in its favour with no discernable drop in sales of older iPhone 4 and 3GS models.'