2021
9
UK Mobile Phones Market Report 2021
2021-04-13T04:01:45+01:00
OX1045447
2195
136557
[{"name":"Smartphones","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/technology\/smartphones"}]
Report
en_GB
“Our consumer research has highlighted how important a smartphone’s battery life and pricing are to Generation X and Baby Boomers in particular. These age groups are also more likely to…

UK Mobile Phones Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Mobile Phones market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The pandemic caused a sharp drop in market value in 2020, with a 9.7% drop compared to 2019. The closure of stores and the economic uncertainty meant that people limited their spending on big ticket items such as phones. However, with lockdowns limiting social interaction, smartphones became more important in day-to-day life to help keep in contact with friends and family.

Price is one of the most important factors when buying a phone, with 42% of smartphone owners who bought their device upfront paying less than £250. 52% of those who paid more than £550 for their device also report that their next phone will be cheaper because of the financial pressures of the pandemic.

The rise in SIM-Only deals, currently the most popular form of payment for phones, is the biggest threat to the market overall. With replaceable SIMS, people are more likely to keep their phones over a longer period, slowing the market growth. However, there are opportunities in attracting Generation X and Baby Boomer customers, who are less likely to be tied to a certain brand of phone. This means this demographic are more likely to be convinced to switch brand thanks to increased battery life of the device or the price overall.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Technology and Telecoms market research.

Quickly understand

  • The short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on mobile phone sales, consumers’ intent to upgrade and how they are using their phones.
  • How people paid for their phone – whether it was upfront or as part of a contract and if it is the former, how much they spent on it and whether they intend to spend less on their next device.
  • Ownership of 5G devices and foldables.
  • Which features are most important to consumers when buying a smartphone.

Covered in this report

Brands: Apple, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Google, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Pixel, BlackBerry, Oppo.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Samantha Dover, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19’s impact on men’s haircare and skincare was polarised, improving the outlook for skincare, whilst creating a more challenging environment for haircare. Reduced usage of haircare in the short term, with the styling segment seeing particularly subdued demand, will see preferences shift, meaning brands that respond with relevant npd and marketing will fare better. Meanwhile, if facial skincare brands can leverage increased engagement with facial cleansing to encourage multistep routines, this will future-proof the category against continued price competition which has eroded value spend in recent years.

Samantha Dover
Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones, 24 February 2021
                • The market
                  • Market drops to £5.9bn amid COVID-19 impact
                    • Market expected to move towards pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021
                      • Figure 2: Market size and forecast for mobile phones, 2015-25
                    • COVID-19 lockdown sees people use their smartphones more leading to greater concerns around digital addiction
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Apple and Samsung stay neck and neck as market leaders
                          • Huawei’s market share drops as expected
                            • Apple adds 5G with iPhone 12 line-up
                              • Samsung announces Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G with edge-to-edge screens
                                • Oppo is in the top three biggest spenders on advertising
                                  • Consumers’ opinion on Huawei’s reliability and trust drops
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Well over eight in 10 consumers own a smartphone
                                        • Figure 3: Personal ownership of technology products including smartphones, January 2020-December 2020
                                      • One in five consumers have bought a smartphone since COVID-19
                                        • Figure 4: Technology devices bought since COVID-19, December 2020
                                      • Two in 10 smartphone owners with a 5G-capable brand have a 5G device
                                        • Figure 5: Ownership of a 5G smartphone, January 2020-December 2020
                                      • Loyalty towards Apple and Samsung even stronger than last year
                                        • Figure 6: Staying with the same smartphone brand, December 2019-December 2020
                                      • Almost half of smartphone owners bought the device fully upfront
                                        • Figure 7: Paying upfront or in instalments for smartphone, December 2020
                                      • Less than £250 is most common price bracket for upfront smartphone buyers
                                        • Figure 8: Price for smartphone bought upfront, December 2020
                                      • Significant drop in Younger Millennials’ intent to upgrade smartphone
                                        • Figure 9: Intent to upgrade smartphone in next two years, January 2020-December 2020
                                      • Long battery life is the most important feature for smartphones
                                        • Figure 10: Most important features when buying a new smartphone, December 2020
                                      • Interest in buying foldables grows after Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft launches
                                        • Figure 11: Ownership and interest in buying foldable smartphones, December 2020
                                      • Majority of smartphone owners feel more secure with biometrics than a PIN
                                        • Over a third of smartphone owners concerned over device addiction
                                          • Around half of Generation Z and Millennials consider the environment when buying smartphones
                                            • Figure 12: Attitudes towards biometrics, digital addiction and impact of COVID-19 on smartphones, December 2020
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • How COVID-19 is shaping the mobile phone market
                                            • Smartphone usage since lockdown adds to worries about digital wellbeing
                                              • Highlighting environmental initiatives in marketing videos to appeal to consumers
                                              • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                                • Mobile phone market down 9.7% in 2020
                                                  • COVID-19 lockdown drives importance of smartphones but adds to digital addiction concerns
                                                    • Some consumers expected to keep their phone with SIM-only plans due to financial concerns
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones
                                                        • Figure 13: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on mobile phones, 24 February 2021
                                                      • Market drops to £5.9bn in 2020 amid COVID-19 impact
                                                        • Samsung and Apple’s revenue stats highlight fluctuating state of the market
                                                          • Market expected to move towards pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021
                                                            • Figure 14: Value of mobile phone sales, 2015-25
                                                            • Figure 15: Market size and forecast for mobile phones, 2015-25
                                                          • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                            • Learnings from the last recession
                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • COVID-19 lockdown sees people use their smartphone more, leading to greater concerns around digital addiction
                                                                  • Smartphone usage since lockdown
                                                                    • Developing digital wellbeing features
                                                                      • COVID-19 expected to cause more people to keep their current phone with SIM-only
                                                                        • 5G phones are now mainstream with entry-level prices
                                                                        • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                                          • Apple and Samsung still lead market share, while ownership of Huawei drops
                                                                            • Apple and Samsung include 5G as standard across iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 devices
                                                                              • LG Wing features ‘T’-shape for improved multitasking
                                                                                • Less consumers see Huawei as trustworthy and reliable than in January 2020
                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                  • Apple and Samsung stay neck and neck as market leaders
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Market share for mobile phones, December 2020
                                                                                  • Huawei’s market share drops as expected
                                                                                    • Motorola is fourth for consumer ownership
                                                                                      • LG to drop out of the smartphone market
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • Apple adds 5G with iPhone 12 line-up
                                                                                          • Design and display
                                                                                            • Cameras
                                                                                              • Storage capacity and pricing
                                                                                                • Apple’s environmental considerations
                                                                                                  • Samsung reduces price with latest Galaxy S21 devices
                                                                                                    • Cameras
                                                                                                      • Display and performance
                                                                                                        • Storage capacity and pricing
                                                                                                          • Samsung announces Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G with edge-to-edge displays
                                                                                                            • Flex Mode and multitasking
                                                                                                              • Folding hinge
                                                                                                                • Storage capacity and pricing
                                                                                                                  • LG Wing showcases ‘T’-shaped design
                                                                                                                    • Microsoft enters foldables market with Surface Duo
                                                                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                      • Spending on mobile phone adverts drops due in part to cinema closures
                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Total above-the-line and online display advertising expenditure by mobile phone manufacturers, 2016-20
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Total above-the-line and online display advertising expenditure by mobile phone manufacturers, by media type, 2016-20
                                                                                                                      • Oppo is in the top three biggest spenders on advertising
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Total above-the-line and online display advertising expenditure by mobile phone manufacturers, by brand (top five), 2020
                                                                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Key metrics for selected brands, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • Apple is most likely brand to be viewed as innovative
                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Attitudes, by brand, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • Consumers most likely to see Samsung as fun ahead of other brands
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Brand personality – macro image, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • Motorola and Samsung viewed as most affordable brands
                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Brand personality – micro image, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                            • Apple users are more likely to have had an excellent experience
                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: User profile of Apple iPhone, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Samsung viewed as most trusted brand
                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: User profile of Samsung Galaxy, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Consumers’ opinions on Huawei’s reliability and trust drops
                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: User profile of Huawei, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Awareness of Motorola is high but recommendations are low
                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: User profile of Motorola, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Google Pixel ranks third for consumer recommendations
                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: User profile for Google Pixel, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Seven in 10 Xiaomi users either had a good or excellent experience
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: User profile for Xiaomi, January 2021
                                                                                                                            • Over one in five consumers who have heard of OnePlus say it is affordable
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: User profile for OnePlus, January 2021
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                                            • COVID-19 expected to have slowed take-up of 5G devices
                                                                                                                              • The entry-level smartphone market is playing a key role
                                                                                                                                • Over a third of smartphone owners consider how environmentally friendly the brand is
                                                                                                                                • Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

                                                                                                                                  • One in five consumers have bought a smartphone since COVID-19
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Technology devices bought since COVID-19, December 2020
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Influence of COVID-19 on technology purchase decision, December 2020
                                                                                                                                  • Entry- to mid-level smartphone market set to thrive as consumers intend to spend less
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Buying a cheaper smartphone due to COVID-19 financial uncertainty, December 2020
                                                                                                                                  • Smartphone Ownership and Brand Loyalty

                                                                                                                                    • Well over eight in 10 consumers own a smartphone
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Personal ownership of technology devices including smartphones, January 2020-December 2020
                                                                                                                                    • Two in 10 smartphone owners with a 5G-capable brand have a 5G device
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Ownership of a 5G smartphone, January 2020-December 2020
                                                                                                                                    • Loyalty towards Apple and Samsung even stronger than last year
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Staying with the same smartphone brand, January 2020-December 2020
                                                                                                                                  • Type of Payment and Pricing

                                                                                                                                    • Almost half of smartphone owners bought the device fully upfront
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Paying upfront or in instalments for smartphone, December 2020
                                                                                                                                    • Less than £250 is most common price bracket for upfront smartphone buyers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Price for smartphone bought upfront, December 2020
                                                                                                                                  • Upgrade Intentions and Most Important Features

                                                                                                                                    • Significant drop in Younger Millennials’ intent to upgrade smartphone
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Intent to upgrade smartphone in next two years, January 2020-December 2020
                                                                                                                                    • Long battery life is the most important feature for smartphones
                                                                                                                                      • Superfast charging devices
                                                                                                                                        • 5G is currently a low priority but expected to increase
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Most important features when buying a new smartphone, December 2020
                                                                                                                                        • Interest in foldables grows after Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft launches
                                                                                                                                          • Nostalgia vs productivity
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Pricing for Motorola Razr, 17 March 2021
                                                                                                                                          • Possible Apple foldable smartphone would boost the industry further
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Ownership and interest in buying foldable smartphones, December 2020
                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards Smartphones

                                                                                                                                          • Majority of smartphone owners feel more secure with biometrics than PIN
                                                                                                                                            • Over a third of smartphone owners concerned over too much phone usage
                                                                                                                                              • Around half of Generation Z and Millennials consider the environment when buying smartphones
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes towards biometrics, smartphone usage and environmental considerations, December 2020
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology

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