UK Leads EU5 Smartphone Adoption

March 31, 2010

The UK market leads the EU5 in growth of smartphone adoption during the past year, growing 70% to more than 11 million subscribers, according to comScore mobiLens data.

The EU5 consists of the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. As a whole, EU5 smartphone adoption among users 13 and older grew 32%, from about 39 million subscribers to 51.6 million subscribers, between January 2009 and January 2010.


France ranks second in growth with the number of smartphone subscribers up 48%, from 4.8 million to 7 million. Meanwhile, Italy boasts the largest number of smartphone subscribers overall (15 million) but showed the softest growth in this market at 11%.

Texting, Apps Most Popular EU5 Mobile Uses
Sending SMS/text messages was by far the most popular use for mobile phones in the EU5, with an average of 83.5% of mobile subscribers aged 13 and up sending at least one SMS/text message during the three months ending January 2010. Using an application (including games) came in a distant second, with 33.4% of mobile subscribers doing so. Listening to music (22.7%) and mobile browsing (22.2%) were other popular activities. Slightly more than one in five (22.6%) of EU5 mobile subscribers had a smartphone in this time period.


Symbian Leading EU5 Smartphone Platform Provider
Symbian held an average 60.9% market share across the EU5 during the three months ending January 2010. Apple came in second with 14.5% market share, followed closely by Microsoft with 14.1% market share.


Platform market share varied widely by individual EU5 nation. Symbian had much lower market share numbers in the UK (46.9%), Germany (55.1%) and France (40.7%) than in Spain (73.5%) and Italy (75.7%). Whether Symbian’s market share was higher or lower than the five-nation average, in each of these nations the difference was primarily made up by variations in market share numbers for Apple and Microsoft. One notable exception was RIM’s exceptionally strong performance in the UK (18.7%, compared to an 8.3% average among all five nations).

RIM Leads US Smartphone Platforms
Smartphone platform provider RIM, which distantly trails Symbian in European smartphone platform market share, holds a dominant position in the US smartphone platform market. During the three months ending January 2010, RIM held 41.3% of the US market, according to earlier comScore figures. Apple and Microsoft came in second and third, and Symbian was not included in the US top five platform providers for this time period.

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