Smartphones, 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.