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Just a fifth of UK consumers plan to upgrade smartphone this year

Paul Lipscombe
May 1, 2019

Duopoly could be under threat as consumers look to spend less

Only a fifth of consumers plan to upgrade their handsets this year, as four in five Brits believe that smartphones are too expensive.

According to the study carried out by, which surveyed 2,003 UK adults between April 5 and April 8 this year, only 27 per cent of respondents believe their phone will become out of date.

Despite more than half of UK consumers being on SIM-only or pay-as-you-go deals, 58 per cent don’t plan to upgrade this year.

The rising cost of handsets has also put consumers off upgrading as 71 per cent look to purchase a smartphone that isn’t the latest, with 38pc citing a lack of differentiation as a factor between choosing new models.

Fewer than one in ten people care about the latest technology who cite the battery life, price and camera quality as more important.

Apple and Samsung will be most at risk says uSwitch as challenger brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo could take advantage through competitive pricing.

Just over half (53pc) of people plan to stick with Apple or Samsung as the UK is becoming less brand-loyal to the traditional “duopoly”. mobiles expert Ru Bhikha said: “These findings should ring alarm bells within the mobile industry, as they highlight a growing disconnect between the way phones are devised and marketed, compared with how consumers buy them.

The latest smartphones now can set consumers back more than £1,000 SIM-free, and once you add the potential increases in 5G tariff pricing, this could create a further deterrent to those who already feel that phone contracts are too expensive.”

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