How Many People Own a Smartphone in the UK?

The first smartphone, known as Simon Personal Communicator, was invented by IBM in 1992, and released in 1994. At the time, the notion of almost every person owning a smartphone was unthinkable. As of March 2020, 87% of people in the UK were smartphone owners. Do you think they were aware that they made an item which is now omnipresent, moreover essential?

If you are eager to find out exactly how many people own a smartphone in the UK, and many more, stick with us because we have prepared answers to all of your questions. 

For starters, check out these highlighted stats.

How Many People Own a Smartphone in the UK – Key Takeaways

  • In 2019, 55.5 million people in the UK were smartphone owners.
  • Almost 90% was smartphone users’ share among mobile phone users in the UK.
  • Practically all of those aged between 16 and 54 years were smartphone owners.
  • iOS and Android accounted for nearly all of the total market share for mobile OS.
  • As of July 2020, leading smartphone model in the UK was Apple’s iPhone SE 2020.

Smartphone Ownership Statistics UK

We are cutting the suspense and bringing you the answers.

 

How many people own a smartphone in the UK?

In 2019, 55.5 million people in the UK were smartphone owners. According to Statista, in 2025, the number of smartphone owners is estimated to reach 64.9 million.

 

What was the percentage of UK smartphone users in 2020?

As of March 2020, 87% was smartphone users’ share among mobile phone users in households in the UK. Only 13% of mobile phone users weren’t smartphone owners.

Smartphones are widely dominating the mobile phone industry for quite a while, and there is no reason to believe that this will change any time soon. 

According to Statista, in 2024, the smartphone user penetration rate is expected to reach 88,1% of the total UK population.

 

What is the expected smartphone penetration rate in the UK?

Statista’s predictions for 2025, estimate smartphone penetration rate to be 93.7%.

 

What was the smartphone ownership rate by age in the UK in 2020?

Practically all of those aged between 16 and 54 years were smartphone owners in the UK. The most significant overall increase is noticed among elderly smartphone usage UK. In 2012, 19% of adults aged between 55 and 64 years were smartphone owners, while in 2020, 70% of them owned a smartphone. 

 

What is the smartphone usage in the UK divided by the socio-economic groups?

There are four socio-economic groups in the UK.

  • AB- Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations.
  • C1- Supervisory, clerical & junior managerial, administrative, professional occupations.
  • C2- Skilled manual occupations. 
  • DE- Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, Unemployed and lowest grade occupations.

In 2019, 89% of Statista‘s survey participants within the AB and C1 socio-economic groups were smartphone users. At the same time, 83% of those in C2, and 78% of the DE socio-economic group were smartphone users.

 

How many people in the UK use smartphones to access the internet?

In 2020, 60% of respondents in Statista’s survey said they mostly use smartphones for internet access, while in 2019, 96% of respondents, aged between 16 and 24 used smartphones to go online. 39% of those aged 55 and over, used smartphones to access the internet. According to finder.com, people in the UK spend 2 hours and 34 minutes online on their smartphones daily.

UK Smartphone Market Share

 

What was the market share of mobile operating systems in the UK?

In October 2020, iOS and Android accounted for almost all of the total market share for mobile OS, solidifying their dominance. iOS had the most extensive market share of almost 52.94%, followed by Android with 46.85%.

 

What is the most popular mobile phone in the UK?

As of July 2020, the leading smartphone model was Apple’s iPhone SE 2020, with 13% of the market share of smartphone models sold in the UK. 

Two manufacturers were dominating the top five smartphone models, Apple’s iPhones and Samsungs. 

Second place was occupied by Apple’s iPhone 11 with 12%. Remaining three spots went to Samsung’s Galaxy A10 and Galaxy S20 Plus 5G with 4% each, and Galaxy A21s with 3% of smartphone models’ market share.

 

Which brand are UK smartphone users most likely to buy in the future?

In 2020, 82% of participants reported Samsung as the most preferred smartphone brand for a future purchase, pursued by Apple and Huawei with 59% and 41%. Approximately half of the participants are using a smartphone that is not older than one year. 

Wrap up

Back in the day, owning a smartphone was a luxury. Today, people without one are a rare species, on the verge of extinction, we might even say.

Sure, we could debate whether that is good or bad, rack up pros & cons all day long, but the simplest fact remains – smartphones have become a window into our World, and it became hard to look away, especially in these trying times of our social lives.

In a couple of years, when the dust settles, we could ask again – How many people own a smartphone in the UK, and examine if the forecasts were accurate.

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