Good news: more than half of us will be smart this time next year

Good news: more than half of us will be smart this time next yearSmartphones, once the preserve of the geeks and ponces, will be nestled in the pockets of more than half of the UK's mobile-using public by mid-2012, according to new estimates.

Feature phone users have been switching to a smarter mobile way at around 2.5% a month since last April, and while at present feature phones still make up 63% of the total, by June next year it will be less than half if that rate of change continues.

It's The Guardian doing that piece of simple maths, based on Kantar Worldpane ComTech's figures. Other key points include that Android is now the top operating system in six of the eight countries covered in its latest research, including the UK and US, with only Italy and Japan bucking the trend.

But while all that's fairly predictable, what was interesting to see was a comparison of reasons iOS and Android users in the UK gave for their choice in phone and OS, with RIM's figures thrown in for good measure.

For iOS users (i.e. iPhone owners), handset brand was three times more likely to influence their decision than for new Android owners – no surprise there, obviously. Multimedia capabilities was the biggest reason of all, and a bigger factor than any other single consideration on any of the platforms.

Android ranked three times higher than iOS on all of cost of tariff, network operator, OS brand and cost of mobile phone, but for us the most interesting consideration was this: 13.7% of RIM users listed design as a key factor for signing up, versus iOS' 13.1%. It really does take all sorts.

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Arj12  Jul. 11, 2011 at 19:17

Interesting but I wonder what the demographics will be! IE, will mostly under 50's have mostly smart phones with over 50's still sticking to non-smart phones.

az87aris  Jul. 11, 2011 at 21:16

It seems blackberry phones are becoming the most popular phones to own at the minute which I'm seriously failing to understand. I've played with one and it's got to be the worst phone I've ever touched (and I've owned a few nokias!). I also can't work out why android is so popular, then again I've only used android on a chi/epad which probably didn't do the OS much justice.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 11, 2011 at 21:28

Interesting only for the 'fact' that 'multimedia capabilities' are the main draw. I.e. Something non-smartphone OS's could do just as well.

Smart is the new dumb. Who's surprised? :p

bookworm963  Jul. 11, 2011 at 22:31

Wow good news indeed!

Reser  Jul. 11, 2011 at 22:40

Very surprised that "multimedia capabilites" is the number 1 draw, I thought for sure it would be the internet capabilites (full browser, email, facebook, instant messaging e.t.c) by far, it sure is for me, being connected to full blown internet everywhere is something I could no longer do without.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 11, 2011 at 23:01


agree - same here. But I guess some people need visual stimulation you can hold in one hand wink nudge :p

oops. Wrong forum :D

computerbar  Jul. 11, 2011 at 23:01

and may be millionaires!!

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 11, 2011 at 23:01

Oops, last post was @Reser...

comingback  Jul. 11, 2011 at 23:44

I quite like how Android vs. iOS on Cost of Tariff was almost three times more likely to persuade the user to go with Android.
I really do think that Apple phones are far too expensive, and I'd definitely agree about the no surprises with iOS having handset brand influencing users three times more than Android; what you're paying for is brand recognition.

Personally, I have a Sony Ericsson W350i, which can do almost nothing (though it has a brilliant snowboarding game on it that I love), but as long as it's still running next year, I'll be in the half of the UK that doesn't have a smart phone. It does exactly what I need it to, and doesn't try and do anything else. I personally don't want a touch screen phone or a phone with a QWERTY keyboard; give me my twelve keys and I'm happy! :)

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 12, 2011 at 13:11


If a phone serves your needs, there is no need to 'upgrade'.
I use a Nokia mainly, but I do have an Android I use now and again. In 5 months I haven't used the Android appstore. I initially downloaded 5 apps, and now it does what I need. 3 of those apps add functions that my Nokias have done out of the box for 5+ years.
I know plenty of iPhone and Android owners who only use their phones for text and voice calls and the odd snapshot.


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