Sales of accessories up by 30 per cent in first five months of 2012


GfK figures show sharp increase in popularity of mobile accessories but handset sales were down by a million compared to the same period last year

Sales of mobile accessories in the UK market increased by 30 per cent during the first five months of 2012 to more than 5.4 million items sold.

This is according to market research firm GfK, which valued the UK accessories market for the period at £78.5 million.

GfK retail and technology UK account director Megan Baldock told Mobile News the growth had come from screen protectors, sales of which increased by 70 per cent year on year, and car-related accessories, sales of which rose by 10 per cent year on year.

Sales of phone cases, however, fell by five per cent year on year, although these still accounted for around 30 per cent of the accessories market.

Baldock attributed the findings to the growing number of smartphone handsets in the UK market and the fact customers are taking greater care of them as they are being tied into longer-term contracts.

She said: “The key reason behind the growth of mobile accessories is the continued penetration of smartphones in the UK consumer market.

“The consumer is using their smartphone for more applications and is tied into a contract for 24 months on average.

“There remains to be even more potential for mobile accessories as there is further room to grow the attachment rates between the smartphone and accessory sales.”

GfK also said its research, which measures consumer spending on technology and technology-related goods, showed the number of handsets sold in the first five months of 2012 dropped by one million to 10.1 million year on year.

Baldock said this was down to a decline in sales of prepay and feature phone handsets.

Quarterly UK prepay sales are said to have fallen by up to 40 per cent in the past year.