UK smartphone subs rise 70pc, says Ofcom

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UK shows fastest increase in smartphone subscriptions, and fullest usage of smartphone devices among consumers, although it ranks third behind Italy and Spain for penetration

The UK saw a 70 per cent rise in smartphone subscribers last year, compared to an 11 per cent rise in Italy, the country with the overall highest smartphone use, according to an Ofcom report.

The UK telecoms regulator’s fifth International Communications Market report found that in total the UK had 18 per cent smartphone subscribers, the third highest in Europe, behind Italy (26 per cent) and Spain (21 per cent).

The UK also had the second highest proportion of subscribers paying over £35 per month for smartphone services behind Spain, with six per cent taking up contracts of that amount or more.

The UK has the highest usage of mobile mapping and direction services in Europe, with nine per cent using these services, compared to five per cent in France and Germany.

The report said smartphone users in the UK are more likely to use premium handsets such as the iPhone and use packages offering bundled minutes and data, which suggests smartphones are used more often and for more functions, it said.

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