GfK: UK handset market grows


The UK mobile handset market shows signs of growth moving towards Christmas, according to market analysts GfK.

GfK data shows that in October 2009, the UK handset market increased by 0.9 per cent compared with October last year, with sales of 2.89 million handsets. 

This is the first period of growth this year since January showed a growth of 0.6 per cent.

The prepay market has continued to decline but has slowed to a decline of 4.9 per cent, compared with the previous five months which have all experienced double digit declines, according to GfK.

The contract market has continued to grow for the sixth consecutive month with an increase of 9.7 per cent.

The market movement towards smartphones has continued, with handsets featuring an open OS experiencing growth of 35.2 per cent year-on-year this month; the second consecutive month showing over 30 per cent growth.

GfK data shows that smartphones now represent more than one in five of all handsets sold in the UK, and as higher specifications such as email and internet access become more standard continuing growth is expected, the company said.

Touchscreen handsets have also seen significant growth this year representing over 30 per cent of all handsets sold so far in Q4, with 25.8 per cent of those having only a touch screen (ie no other slide out keyboard).

QWERTY keyboard handsets have also seen some growth and now represent 10.2 per cent of the UK handset market. Features such as GPS have also become more common with 29 per cent of handsets featuring it, while push email is now available on 22 per cent of handsets.

Graphs presenting GfK’s data can be viewed here