Smartphone use rises in UK

19 November 2009

LONDON: The number of smartphone users in the UK is continuing to grow, and has now reached a total of 6.2 million people overall, new figures from The Nielsen Company, the research firm, show.

Nielsen reported that devices like Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry boosted their market share in the European nation by 1% during the third quarter, to 15% overall.

Similarly, the user base for these handsets rose by 10% when compared with the figure of 5.6 million recorded in the period from April to June this year.

Of the UK's total mobile audience, 10.4 million accessed the mobile web in Q3, up by 1.6 million quarter-on-quarter, while 4.1 million downloaded at least one application, compared with 3.1 million who did the same during the preceding three months.

More than 37 million British consumers used text message facilities during this period, with 10.8 million sending picture messages in the same timeframe.

Some 2.6 million uploaded content via their mobile, amounting to growth of 300,000 people on Q2, with video use also up by 500,000, to 1.8 million, and instant messaging by 400,000, to 3.4 million.

Location-based services registered a slight uptick, to 3.3 million, while email and text alerts saw improvements in uptake of more than half a million people on a quarterly basis.

Edward Kershaw, Nielsen's vp of Mobile Media, said "although there have been sizable increases in the take-up of new mobile technologies such as video and location-based services, they remain niche forms of behavior."

"The era of the handset as a truly multi-media device on a mass-market level lies somewhere on the horizon, and the key for companies to successfully harness mobile lies in a realistic understanding of what activities people on a large-scale are actually doing with their handsets now."

Data sourced from The Nielsen Company; additional content by Warc staff