Smartphone vs. feature phone 'tipping point' coming


Smartphone uptake has been skyrocketing for the past few years and by mid-2012 half of UK users will have one, according to estimates.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data showed that some 2.5 per cent of feature phone users have switched to a smartphone every month since April last year.

Extrapolating that rate, the Guardian reported June 2012 should be the month when the "tipping point" is reached and more users will have smartphones than feature phones.

"With 63 per cent of British consumers still owning a non-smartphone, future growth lies with upgrading customers," said Kantar Worldpane ComTech's global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo.

"BlackBerry is currently attracting the most upgrading shoppers with 84.9 per cent of its new customers previously owning a non-smartphone However, a concern for brands targeting the lower end of the market is that once consumers have tried a smartphone they are prepared to spend more on their next device and could turn to other brands."

Android the OS to beat

Google's Android has been making some serious market share strides of late, and the new data revealed it is now the top OS in eight key countries.

In the UK, Android market share has risen from one per cent to 9.2 per cent between June 2010 and the same month this year.

However, it appears there is a significant amount of loyalty when it comes to Android and iPhone users.

Just 1.4 per cent of new Android users were ex-iPhone owners.

"We are yet to see any real signs of consumers switching between Android and Apple," Sunnebo added.

"Our data shows that Apple and Android's customers are intensely loyal when choosing their upgrade. One reason for this is the investment consumers make in their device through apps."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.