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Ireland Mobile Phones: Incl Impact of COVID-19 Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Mobile Phones: Incl Impact of COVID-19 - Ireland market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Ownership of smartphones in Ireland has continued to grow in recent years, and the market is approaching saturation point. The introduction of 5G services to the market, however, will help to boost overall spending on mobile phones, although the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment may see cash-conscious consumers more likely to hold off making the switch until their financial situation stabilizes somewhat.

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 in the short term has likely helped to boost overall usage of smartphones as the need to keep in touch with loved ones via chat apps and social media during the lockdown will have helped to drive usage. However, with most consumers forced to stay at home, it may have negatively impacted mobile data usage, affecting revenues. The cost of the average smartphone means that many people are still reluctant to buy without having hands-on experience of a handset, meaning that the retail shutdown has also had a major impact on the market Brian O'Connor
Senior Consumer Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What You Need to Know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Issues covered in this Report
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Total number of mobile phone subscribers, NI and RoI, 2015-20
            • Market factors
              • Ownership of smartphones remains high
                • Consumers spending more time on their phones
                  • Irish consumers using more data
                    • Mobile operators offering consumers help during COVID-19 crisis
                      • Impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones
                        • Figure 2: Indexed number of mobile phone subscribers, NI and RoI, 2015-25
                        • Figure 3: Expected impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones, short-, medium- and long-term, 5 July 2020
                      • Companies, brands and innovations
                        • The consumer
                          • Samsung and Apple account for two thirds of smartphone users
                            • Figure 4: Type of smartphone brand that consumers currently personally own, NI and RoI, April 2020
                          • Three, Vodafone and O2 market leaders
                            • Figure 5: Mobile network providers used by consumers for their main mobile phone, RoI, April 2020
                            • Figure 6: Mobile network providers used by consumers for their main mobile phone, NI, April 2020
                          • 5G used by one in 10
                            • Figure 7: Reasons why consumers would switch to a 5G network, NI and RoI, April 2020
                          • NI consumers more likely than RoI consumers to use monthly contract
                            • Figure 8: Type of mobile network connection, NI and RoI, April 2020
                          • Chat apps and social media key phone activities
                            • Figure 9: Types of mobile phone activities, NI and RoI, April 2020
                          • Four in 10 satisfied with network provider’s coverage
                            • Figure 10: Agreement with statements relating to mobile phones, NI and RoI, April 2020
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • COVID-19 stalling spending on technology and communication, but driving phone usage
                            • Ireland has 6.8 million mobile subscribers
                              • Time spent using mobile phones increases
                                • Mobile data usage increases in 2019
                                  • Three Ireland delays launch of its 5G service
                                  • Impact of COVID-19 on Mobile Phones

                                    • Short-, medium- and long-term impact on the industry
                                      • Figure 11: Expected impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones, short, medium and long term, 15 July 2020
                                    • Opportunities and Threats
                                      • Opportunity to grow user base among mature consumers
                                        • Consumer concerns will restrict sales of new handsets
                                          • Figure 12: Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on consumer finances, NI and RoI, May 2020
                                        • Need to stay in touch helping to drive usage…
                                          • Figure 13: Consumers who are spending more time on video calls with friends and family and taken out streaming subscriptions due to COVID-19, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                        • Boost in usage does not translate to more mobile data usage however
                                          • Figure 14: Time spent on WiFi when using mobile devices, Ireland and UK, 2 March to 24 May 2020
                                        • Impact on the mobile phone market
                                          • Figure 15: Indexed number of mobile phone subscribers, NI and RoI, 2015-25
                                        • How the crisis will affect mobile phone’s key consumer segments
                                          • Consumer worry levels decline, but still concerned about COVID-19
                                            • Figure 16: How worried consumers are about the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, IoI, March-June 2020
                                          • Consumers expect to be spending less on technology and communication
                                            • Figure 17: How consumers expect their spending on technology and communication to change in the coming month, NI and RoI, June 2020
                                            • Figure 18: How consumers expect their spending on technology and communication to change in the coming months, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2020
                                          • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the mobile phones category
                                            • Figure 19: Total number of mobile phone subscribers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2007-14
                                          • Marketing Mix
                                            • Figure 20: Agreement with selected statements relating to COVID-19 and its impact on shopping habits, IoI, May-June 2020
                                          • COVID-19: UK & RoI Context
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                              • Subdued growth in mobile phone subscribers to continue in 2020
                                                • Figure 21: Total number of mobile phone subscribers, IoI, NI and RoI, 2015-25
                                              • Subscribers use post-paid services
                                                • Figure 22: Mobile subscriptions, by prepay and post-pay, RoI, 2015-19
                                              • Major operators seeing contract usage increase
                                                • Figure 23: Percentage of customers on pre- or post-pay, by operator, RoI, 2018 and 2019
                                              • Cost of mobile contracts falls
                                                • Figure 24: Monthly average revenue per user, by prepay and post-pay, RoI, 2015-19
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Smartphone ownership remains high
                                                • Figure 25: Ownership of, or access to, mobile technology devices, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                              • Mobile data usage continues to grow
                                                • Figure 26: Average monthly data usage, UK (including NI), 2015-19
                                                • Figure 27: Average mobile data usage, RoI, 2015-19
                                              • Satisfaction with mobile reception remains high
                                                • Figure 28: Satisfaction with reception of mobile service, NI, 2019 and 2020
                                              • Irish consumers spend longer using their mobile phones
                                                • Figure 29: Average time (in minutes) consumers spend using their mobile phone per day, RoI, 2017 and 2019
                                              • Social networking popular smartphone activity
                                                • Figure 30: Average time (in minutes) consumers spent on activities on their mobile phone per day, RoI, 2019
                                                • Figure 31: Top five social networks used in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2020
                                              • NHS staff offered free mobile data through COVID-19
                                                • Irish mobile operators offer help during COVID-19 crisis
                                                  • Three Ireland delays 5G launch
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Apple enhances privacy
                                                      • German university devices offer new accessibility for vision-impaired
                                                        • Xiaomi uses big data to develop handset
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Apples enhances security and privacy for its devices
                                                            • Figure 32: Agreement with statements related to social and media networks, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                          • New technology that could make smart devices more accessible
                                                            • Big data used to design new smartphone handset
                                                            • Competitive Strategies – Key Players

                                                                • Apple
                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                        • Huawei
                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                • Samsung
                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                        • Sony
                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                • Samsung and Apple rule the roost
                                                                                                  • Three and Vodafone main providers in RoI, O2 biggest in NI
                                                                                                    • 2020 sees one in 10 with a 5G connection
                                                                                                      • NI consumers much more likely to have monthly contract
                                                                                                        • Chat apps and social media most popular phone activities
                                                                                                          • Four in 10 satisfied with network provider’s coverage
                                                                                                          • Smartphone Brand

                                                                                                              • Samsung and Apple top phone brands
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Type of smartphone brand that consumers currently personally own, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                              • Samsung and Apple appeal to different age groups
                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Consumers who own a Samsung phone vs. Apple phone, by age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Consumers who own a Samsung phone vs. Apple phone, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                            • Mobile Network Provider Used

                                                                                                                • Three and Vodafone dominate the RoI region
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Mobile network providers used by consumers for their main mobile phone, RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Mobile network providers used by consumers for their main mobile phone, NI, April 2020
                                                                                                                • O2 has much stronger appeal to women
                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Consumers who use O2 as their mobile network provider for their main mobile phone, by gender, NI, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: OFCOM customer satisfaction survey, UK, Jan-Feb 2020
                                                                                                                • Vodafone and Three appeal to consumers at opposite ends of the age spectrum in RoI
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Consumers who use Vodafone or Three as their mobile network provider for their main mobile phone, by age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                              • Usage of 5G Networks

                                                                                                                  • One in 10 Irish consumers using 5G in 2020
                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Consumers who are currently using a 5G network, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Consumers who are currently using a 5G network, by generational group, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Price a barrier for NI consumers; availability more likely to stop RoI consumers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Reasons why consumers would switch to a 5G network, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                • Type of Mobile Network Connection

                                                                                                                    • NI consumers much more likely to have monthly contract
                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Type of mobile network connection, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Type of mobile network connection, NI and RoI, March 2019 and April 2020
                                                                                                                    • PAYG model appeals to cost-conscious
                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Type of mobile network connection, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                  • Most Popular Mobile Phone Activities

                                                                                                                      • Chat apps and social media key functions of mobile phones
                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Types of mobile phone activities, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                      • Social media and chat apps see greater usage among the young and women
                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Consumers who ranked browsing social media and using chat apps as top three phone activities, by gender and age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                      • 35-54 year olds most likely to use phones for web browsing
                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Consumers who ranked general web browsing as a top three phone activity, by age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                      • RoI consumers more likely than NI to watch video content
                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Consumers who ranked watching videos as a top three phone activity, by gender, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Mobile Phones

                                                                                                                        • High satisfaction rate with network coverage
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Agreement with statements relating to mobile phones, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                        • Younger consumers least likely to be satisfied with coverage
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Agreement with the statement ‘I find the coverage of my phone network to be good’, by age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                        • Mobile data important deciding factor
                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Agreement with the statement ‘I think data allowance is the most important factor when choosing a phone plan’, by age, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                        • Women and those struggling to make ends meet most likely to need a smartphone to survive
                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Agreement with the statement ‘I could not survive without my smartphone’, by gender and financial status, NI and RoI, April 2020
                                                                                                                        • NI consumers more likely to insure their device
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                                                            • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                              About the report

                                                                                                                              This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                              • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                              • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                              • The Market

                                                                                                                                Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                              • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                              • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                              • The Trends

                                                                                                                                What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                              Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                              Description