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UK smartphone market growth stalls

Potential upgraders not being persuaded to do so

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Persuading punters to upgrade from ordinary handsets to smartphone is seen as the next big opportunity for phone makers and network operators. The bad news, according to UK pollster YouGov, is that there's no well marked interest in doing so.

In Q2 2011, UK smartphone ownership reached 35 per cent of adults with phones, what it was in Q1 2011 and only barely up on Q4 2010's 33 per cent.

Half of the folks who currently own an ordinary phone said they'll go for the same type when they upgrade. Only 34 per cent said they will shift up to a smartphone. The remaining 16 per cent didn't know one way or t'other.

Only 14 per cent of smartphone owners are over the age of 55, though almost a half of non-smartphone owners - 48 per cent - are 55 or up. Only 41 per cent of smartphone owners are women.

YouGov reckons the industry is missing a trick by not addressing these groups. Brand matters. "Half of BlackBerry sales made to adults are to women," YouGov said. "Apple and Samsung also beat the industry average.

"At the other end of the scale, HTC and Nokia are brands that appeal significantly more to men than women."

That said, Apple is the brand punters are most likely to adopt, with 31 per cent saying that's the label they'll go for when they get their next phone.

BlackBerry came second, chosen by 21 per cent of respondents, followed by HTC (18 per cent), Samsung (13 per cent), Nokia (11 per cent), Sony Ericsson (five per cent) and all the rest combined (one per cent). ®

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