How's the UK Smartphone Market Doing?

UK smartphones

In this article we take a look at the state of the smartphone market in the UK and globally. We highlight which manufacturers of mobile phones are selling the most smartphones in 2016, which smartphones are in most UK households and the latest smartphone releases from each brand.

Global smartphone sales 

According to statistics company, IC Insights, who have projected 2016 global phone sales based upon quarter one sales, these are the manufacturers who are going to sell the most smartphones in 2016:

  1. Samsung - 320m
  2. Apple - 225m
  3. Huawei - 135m
  4. OPPO - 77m
  5. Xiaomi - 75m
  6. Vivo - 60m
  7. LG - 57m
  8. ZTE - 56m
  9. Lenovo - 55m
  10. TCL - 44m
  11. Meizu - 26m
  12. Micromax - 25m
  13. Sony - 14m
  14. Microsoft - 10m

Smartphones in UK households

According to, these are the percentages of households in the UK that have the following smartphone brands within them:

  1. Apple - 46%
  2. Samsung - 32%
  3. Nokia - 6%
  4. Sony - 5%
  5. HTC - 4%
  6. BlackBerry - 2%
  7. Motorola - 1%

It is clear from these smartphone statistics that Samsung and Apple rule the roost. While manufacturers that have a tradition of selling phones in the UK still have a strong presence in our homes, the global picture is changing. 

We should expect to see brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, LG and Lenovo infiltrating UK households during 2016. These brands will further knock the fortunes of old UK favourites such as Nokia, BlackBerry and Motorola.

Latest smartphones

Not all of the mobile phone manufacturers that have hit the high note in global sales, make an appearance in the UK. But, for those that have, we highlight their latest smartphones, which are undoubtedly the ones that you would want to buy.

Samsung has had huge success this year, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at the forefront of its marketing campaigns. Strong sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are expected in the UK in the latter half of the year, as the last S Pen phablet that Samsung sold in the UK was the Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Apple has fallen behind Samsung in terms of outright sales this year. We should however, see a rebound as the new Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus sends ripples across the pond. Sales in the UK during the first half of 2016 have been driven by the Apple iPhone 6s, Apple iPhone 6s plus and the Apple iPhone SE.

Apple iPhone 7

Huawei was one of the first smartphone manufacturers to include a dual-lens camera and this featured on the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. The Huawei P9 is unquestionably one of the best smartphones available in the UK. If you haven’t read the Huawei P9 review, then we strongly recommend that you do.

Huawei P9

LG has announced the LG V20 and this will surely be a big seller, being the first smartphone to feature Google’s Android Nougat operating system, right out of the box. The LG V20 has a dual camera and we first saw this set up earlier this year with the LG X Cam. The LG V20 also has a secondary always on display and we first saw this set up on the LG X Screen. In addition to this, the LG V20 has Quad DAC audio and a 135-degree wide-angle camera.

LG V20

Sony ditched its Xperia Z series of smartphones earlier this year and replaced them with a new Xperia X series. At that time Sony released the Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia XA and Sony Xperia X Performance. These however seemed to be more of a stop gap, as we have very recently seen the UK release of the Sony Xperia XZ flagship smartphone and the Sony Xperia X Compact and Sony Xperia XA Ultra.

Sony Xperia XZ

Microsoft released the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL earlier this year and although sales have been far from impressive, these two smartphones do have something unique to offer. Both smartphones run the new Windows 10 operating system and with the Continuum feature, these phones can upscale apps for viewing on a PC monitor or TV. A Surface Phone has been rumoured for some time, but for now, rumours are all we have.

Microsoft Lumia 950

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Written by: Michael Brown

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