Is growth in UK smartphone penetration fueling mobile spend?

The last year has seen some big movers and changes in the UK mobile platform market with more and more consumers adopting smartphone platforms such as Apple iOS and Google Android, with resulting increases in mobile spending, especially on applications.

Mobile platform market share UK

According to research by MediaCells (via Guardian), a research and insight company based in London, big changes took place in the UK mobile market during 2010, and continuing into 2011 as well. Their forecast for 2011 shows that the amount of so called feature phones will reduce heavily while we will see continued growth in smartphone penetration, where especially Blackberry (RIM), Android, and Apple iOS is standing to gain from the consumer change over to more advanced mobile solutions.

In fact, this 2011 forecast might prove to be on the cautious side, as new figures from Kantar World Panel indicates that Android is now leading the UK smartphone market with a 37% marketshare compared to Apple’s iOS with 22% and RIM with 23%, with especially Android and Apple taking marketshare from Nokia and their Symbian platform (in the process of changing to Windows). Their research also shows that over 70% of new customers coming to Apple iOS and Android are coming from non-smartphone platforms (feature phones).

Although i guess no one will really be surprised by these figures, considering the popularity of the top 3 smartphone platforms and the constant innovation and new product releases taking place. Looking at mobile phone promotions in the UK market these days, it is all about smartphones and what opportunities they open in terms of staying connected to social networks, applications, and games.

But is the increase in smartphone penetration and an increasing amount of time spent online and consuming media over mobile solutions making people spend more of their expendable income on their mobiles?

A recent Ofcom study into how we consumer media  and communications confirm the changes in terms of the impact smartphones have had on media consumption and time spent on a mobile phone, but it is also showing that we are actually spending less of our expendable income on media these days compared to earlier. This does however cover off all media, including televisions, internet etc. and does not looks at mobile phone expenditure alone.

A recent report by research2guidance shows that UK smartphone owners spent over £280m on mobile apps in 2010 as the ‘app economy’ exploded on a global scale. This figure is expected to increase further as the app market matures and people start becoming more focused in how they use apps in their daily lives, and the smartphone and tablet market penetration increases.

How is the smartphone market impacting your mobile spend?

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