Samsung and Apple fight for 'final 20 per cent' of UK customers

Tech giants Apple and Samsung are competing for a small percentage of "floating voters" as the UK smartphone market turns into a two-horse race, according to Samsung's president of UK and Ireland.

Andy Griffiths claimed the tech giants are fighting for 20 per cent of UK smartphone users who are not yet loyal to a particular brand, while most others are either settled on Samsung's version of Android or Apple's iOS operating system.

He told the Guardian: "There are groups of people who stick with what they like, whether that's Samsung or Apple, and then there are people in the middle that you can kind of sway, a bit like the floating voter, and that's who we're all fighting for.

"We hold about two-thirds of the Android base in the UK and we have a very high level of retention. The fact is that it's a two-brand market and I think people are choosing to go both ways, so we're always going to be trading customers between us."

This is a symptom of smartphone saturation, Griffiths added, claiming that almost everyone who would purchase a smartphone already owns one.

"Overall saturation means a kick down in the market as it settles," he said. "Once is reaches its new rhythm people will want a better phone than last time, and that step up is what we've seen in the UK. The phablet category is three times bigger this year than last, and we believe there's exponential growth in that size of smartphone, with one in 10 of every smartphone sold being 5.5in or above."

Data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals that, over the past two years in the US, 20 per cent of iOS users went to Android and 16 per cent of Android users switched to iOS.

Analyst firm IDC revealed in April that Samsung led worldwide smartphone shipments in Q1 2015, largely thanks to the demand for lower-cost devices.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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