The latest research from market researchers YouGov's Technology and Telecoms team confirms that almost half of mobile owners now use smartphones (47%). YouGov anticipates that smartphones will dominate the market with a clear majority (over 55%) within the next 12 months.
The leader of the smartphone pack is Apple's iPhone, which has 29% share of the smartphone market, a good 9% clear of their nearest challengers Samsung, BlackBerry and HTC with 20%, 17%, and 16% respectively. However both Samsung and HTC are gaining ground fast on Apple, while Blackberry has steadily lost market share for the last two years, and is going to have to fight hard with its Blackberry 10 devices if it's going to turnaround the decline.
YouGov expects Samsung to carry on growing its smartphone share because of its firm presence in both the smartphone and feature phone markets: 20 and 25% respectively, meaning the manufacturer is in a great position to convert feature phone users with established products in both markets.
Nokia still in the lead on feature phones
Nokia remains the most popular manufacturer for feature phone owners, holding the largest share of the market, with 43%, it has just 9% of the smartphone market.
However YouGov argues that the conversion of the feature phone market will not be easy; "the challenge for manufacturers is converting the 'Late Majority' and 'Laggard' segments who are not necessarily technology-focused and are sceptical of the value of smartphones." And YouGov's latest SMIX (Smartphone Mobile Internet eXperience) findings confirm this: over 40% of feature phone users "have no need for a smartphone"; over 50% are "happy with their regular mobile phone".
YouGov's research indicates that expense appears to be another critical issue with conversion, between 30% and 40% of feature phone users also feel that "smartphone handsets are too expensive".