Similar to what we’ve observed in the North American marketplace, UK-based Apple users generate the greatest share of that nation’s smartphone Web traffic. However, a current and historical brand-based distribution of remaining smartphone Internet usage highlights a number of differences from the U.S. and Canadian ecosystem, and some unique aspects of the UK smartphone user base.
To quantify this study, Chitika Insights analyzed millions of UK smartphone-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika Ad Network from June 16 through 22, 2014. The historical data were drawn from impressions observed from January 22 through 28, 2014. The results were then graphed alongside each other for comparative purposes.
As would be expected in a largely mature market, there has been relatively little volatility in the UK smartphone usage environment from a brand perspective over the past six months. However, the changes that have taken place point to how the country’s smartphone user base likely will evolve as 2014 rolls along.
With one or more new iPhone models on the horizon for this fall, it’s highly probable that Apple will retain its near-fifty percent usage share at year’s end. The launch of the previous models in 2013 were particularly well received in the UK, and there’s little reason to believe that the response will ebb substantially this time around.
Samsung has heavily invested in marketing its smartphones in the UK, with a recent campaign including a “rebranding” London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to promote its latest Galaxy S model. It’s expected that the company will continue its hard push in various ways throughout the year, and considering the share gains achieved over the last six months using similar tactics, Samsung may see some continued success.
Conversely, BlackBerry has been in somewhat of a transition period since John Chen was appointed as CEO in late 2013 and subsequently spearheaded a reorganization of the company’s smartphone business. Most recently, BlackBerry announced the addition of the Amazon App Store to its BlackBerry 10 devices, underscoring how the company seems to be slimming down its consumer-facing efforts in the smartphone arena. With this report’s usage statistics, paired alongside surveys pointing to a growing number of UK-based BlackBerry users switching to other platforms, expect BlackBerry’s usage share in the country to continue to slip gradually moving forward.
As for the remaining players, while growth for some should be anticipated, it’s unclear if any will take a substantial jump in usage share in the near future. Sony seems to be committed to making its flagship Xperia Z1 devices a success in the UK market, HTC’s 2014 UK marketing budget is reportedly its largest ever, and Nokia is holding course as the brand transitions under its new owner Microsoft. Should BlackBerry not turn around the existing downward trend, and find more of its users looking to other platforms, these and the remaining smaller brands have an opportunity to substantially improve their fortunes and standing in the UK marketplace.