Half-million people in UK received handset as Xmas gift


Research from Kantar Worldpanel found sales of gifted devices down nine per cent on final quarter of 2013

More than a half a million Brits were given a mobile phone for Christmas in 2014, according to research from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, with the iPhone 5c topping the list as most popular present.

Kantar found that nine per cent less people bought loved ones a new phone as a present compared with 2013, although pre-paid handset sales did increase by nine per cent in volume.

The researchers revealed that it had been a good Christmas for Tesco Mobile. The embattled retailer was the most successful retailer for gifted devices, though Kantar could not disclose figures due to sensitive agreements, and showed “strong growth in share”.

This was also the first year Tesco beat Carphone Warehouse to the top spot for contract handset gifts, signalling its growing presence as a destination retailer in the market. Tesco’s Hudl2 was also the top selling gifted tablet for the final quarter of 2014.

Kantar Worldpanel consumer insights director Imran Choudhary said: “This Christmas was interesting for two key reasons. Firstly, while the gifted device market continued to contract, PAYG gifted devices grew compared to last Christmas. Perhaps a signal of a slight recovery for the prepaid device market as a whole.

“Secondly, this Christmas saw the rise of Tesco, both as a retailer and a network. It showed strong growth as a network within gifted sales and was the number one retailer for contract gifted devices, beating Carphone Warehouse for the first time. This kind of a performance justifies Tesco’s plans to phase out the selling of pay monthly contracts for other networks.”