back to article Apple's UK smartphone lead shrinks

While Apple's iPhone 4S is still the UK's most popular smartphone, accounting for one in five of all those sold last month - sales are slipping. Back in March, the 4S accounted for 25 per cent of UK smartphone sales, the Financial Times reports, citing from market watcher GfK. Deflecting the 4S' sales trajectory downward is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, it's always difficult to grow from 100% market share...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow that is a massive market share for the S3, I would have expected a lower market share than that, I wonder what androids market share is in total? If that was published it MIGHT mean we get more decent apps for our android phones!

    1. Steve Evans

      The Android share of the phone market has already passed that of the iPhone.

      iOS only dominate in tablets these days.

      I agree about the apps though. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of apps, and plenty of good ones, it's just unfortunate that a some big companies seem to just have the iphone app converted and not take advantage of any of the extra features available on Android, such as the menu button for setting etc.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        iOS dominates high end smartphone sales.

        It doesn't even compete at the low end, which is where Android's domination is greatest.

        Samsung expect to 'sell'* 10 million Galaxy S 3 by the end of July (2 months after launch).

        In a similar period*** after launch Apple sold** 37 million iPhones.

        * Usual sales BS applies, this number refers to shipped units and not sales

        ** From Apple's first quarter results, 2012

        *** Note Apple figure refers to a full quarter, where as Samsung's is over 2 months.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          I expect the thumbs down when I say something that praises Apple, but that post is just bare facts - how can you downvote facts?

          1. Arctic fox

            You are simply getting the same treatment....

            ....that anyone posting a factual statement concerning MS that the howlers do not like will be subjected to - learn to live with it.

    2. Annihilator

      "I wonder what androids market share is in total? If that was published it MIGHT mean we get more decent apps for our android phones!"

      Are you trolling? Do you really think that app developers don't know what the market share data is, and also what the ROI is for apps on each platform?

  3. Neil_

    Please don't tell me this 'inspired by nature' drivel actually works :-/

    The S3 is an awesome phone, I don't need to be told it looks/sounds like a hummingbird hovering on a leaf by a waterfall.

    Spend the money making the next phone even more awesome.

  4. Annihilator

    All in the name

    Yet weirdly, the "iPhone 5" or whatever they call it, will be the 6th iPhone... At least the iPhone 4 was actually the 4th.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, fair play to Samsung's marketing people

    There is a massive display in my local soul-crushing mega-mall, with a load of S3 units to play with, and friendly out of work actor types in Samsung polo shirts who actually encourage you to pick them up and have a good play (the phones, damnit, behave).

    The operation is slick, and the units are equally impressive. As someone who was considering an S3 anyway, it was enough to tip me over the edge- working as intended.

    It's a really impressive device, and they are marketing it well, too. It makes sense that they're grabbing some market share. Personally, I think it's a good thing, keeps everyone (Apple included) on their toes- you can't just sue your way out of everything, gotta keep getting good products in the hands of users.

  6. Silver

    Not just marketing

    "Deflecting the 4S' sales trajectory downward is the Samsung Galaxy S III, its manufacturer having finally realised what Apple has understood for years: splash the cash on marketing and people are more likely to buy your product."

    Well ... that and having a decent product to market in the first place.

    Having one without the other isn't a recipe for long term success.

  7. Miek
    Big Brother

    "We suspect, but have no evidence to back this up, that they're not doing so for free." -- Whilst you are entitled to your suspicions; it could also be that the Operators stand to make more money from pushing these phones than an iPhone. Probably a bunch of back-handers though.

    1. Darryl

      Well, either make more money or not have to pay Apple for the privilege of selling their phone.

  8. Slx

    The iPhone looks old now.

    I was looking at buying a new smartphone recently and I was browsing my local eMobile store here in Ireland where they'd a nice selection of Androids, Windows phones, iPhones and others all plugged in and playable-around with.

    I have to say that the current iPhone form factor is showing its age at the moment. The new Galaxy SIII in particular looks stunning in comparison to it as do many of the other Android phones on the market at that end of the market.

    Apple really need to innovate the form factor a bit and produce something that is market leading again. They seem to spend all their time chasing patent law suits these days rather than actually tweaking their phone design.

  9. SiempreTuna

    Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

    "We suspect, but have no evidence to back this up, that they're not doing so for free."

    Doesn't Apple still get the networks to pay for a their marketing? Hence, each time an Apple ad runs, it only mentions one network - the one that stumped up for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

      Apple is not smart.

      It's consumers are dumb.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obviously!

        And you are dull, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Please, change the record.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Toothpick

        Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

        Apple is not smart.

        It's consumers are dumb.

        Not as dumb as you. Learn the difference between its and it's.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

          @Toothpick: Either is correct. You could have "It is consumers are dumb" pertaining to customers in general (not great English but certainly the sort used every day) or "Its consumers are dumb" pertaining solely to consumers of Apple. It's likely the poster was referring to consumers of Apple, but you cannot say for certain so it's probably best not to assume.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

            Anonymous is wrong... You can indeed say "It is consumers are dumb" every day if you like, but it is incorrect. If you are saying that Apple's customers are dumb then the correct way is "It's". This is not a contraction of "it is" but making the it in simplistic terms the replacement for "Apple's" i.e. the customers "owned" by Apple. Clear now ?

            1. gerryg

              Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

              possessive its, LMGTFY

    2. Darryl

      Re: Still Not as Smart as Apple ..

      Other thing I noticed - in print ads (flyers specifically), it looks like Apple stipulates that their products can't be on the same page as the competition's. This must also increase the cost of advertising.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author


    aha i love it

    i have said it before and ill say it again apple isn't the only phone company out there that can make a cracking smartphone Samsung can to, also there's lg with there optimus 4x hd which is actually cheaper than the s3 and iPhone 4s. if i get my next smartphone it most certainly will not be apple as i do not like its old ui or its lock down system or any restrictions. i tried my brothers iPhone its so complicated you have to go through multiple menus just to get to where you want. its a old and dated now forget apple there's plenty of alternatives out there go down to your local phone shop like carphonewarehouse try them out.

    1. Droid on Droid
      Thumb Down

      Re: aha i love it

      "its so complicated you have to go through multiple menus just to get to where you want."

      Nice Troll here are 3 gold pieces now back in the basement.

  12. PipV

    Here we go...


    Its got nothing to do with the fact that anybody with half a brain would wait a few months for the next all new and "shiny" revision on the iphone (5, new iphone, insert version name number here)???

    Sales will probably tail off even further until the new model is available, and stall completely once an announcement is made. But I'll put a tenner down that people will queue for hours outside in the beautiful British sunshine.

  13. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Obvious is obvious

    Phone sales of a marquee brand like the iPhone or Galaxy S are always sold on contract. The phones are always introduced in a cycle to prompt previous purchasers to upgrade to the latest version.

    Therefore, there is an almighty sales rush as the new devices are launched, and for 6 months or so afterwards, before it tails off - at some point, (almost) everyone who is going to get said phone already has said phone.

    So, iPhone 4S sales are tailing off in the UK, 8 months after it has launched, whilst Galaxy S3 sales are quite high, 1 month after launch. Colour me shocked.

    1. hazydave

      Re: Obvious is obvious

      And it's actually worse for the iPhone. There's one iPhone every year. It used to be released in June, now it's released in September or October. Some buyers aren't tuned into this cycle, but repeat iPhone buyers and those they influence -- eg, most iPhone buyers -- are knowledgeable. So as the new iPhone approaches, sales drop off.

      No one else, not Samsung, not HTC, not Motorola, not Sony, releases just a single model per year. And in the Android and even Windows Phone markets, there are new introductions at several price/feature points... you're getting a lower end 2012 phone, not a two-year-old high-end phone from Apple. If you're not happy with a new Android release, you can wait a month. Thus, the Android phone business does rise and fall a bit depending on which major release is near, but it doesn't have the seasonal nature that Apple's does.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Obvious is obvious

      I love the way people make excuses.

      But the point is this. If Apple only have success one period every year, whilst other companies like Samsung have solid success all the year round, because they constantly innovate with new devices, I think it's clear who the winner is.

      And I don't think the S3 demand is going to tail off quickly - the S2 was the number one device in the UK for 11 months (see my ref in my other comment to this thread), and they consistently outsell Apple even when their flagship device was months older than Apple's.

  14. Philippe

    isn't that what happened exactly 12 months ago?

    q3 2011 (for humans it's actually q2) was the first time the ANALists got their sales expectations wrong with Apple under-achieving. (they usually over-achieve)

    Nobody outsides the business users, switching over from another platform is going to buy an iPhone4S now when everyone anticipates a new model in September or October, and people on iPhone4 or 4s have their contract ending about the same time as the 5, 4GS, new iPhone, insert best guess here, is going to be released.

    The S3 is doing very well because there is nothing else to look at on the marketplace.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let’s hope the iPhone5 is a MASSIVE improvement from its predecessors.

    After all glass and stainless steel was acceptable in kitchens circa 2000, and the UI looks like 80's wall paper.

    Apart from the "advertisers dream", who will buy into any old shite that is "magical and revolutionary", anyone with a considered point of view may well be interested in what they produce next.

    But its really needs to be better than what they already offer.

    (Though I still won't want one! Don't want people thinking I'm a complete twat)

    1. Toothpick

      You are repeating yourself AGAIN with your obsession with 80s wallpaper.

      I do agree though that Apple need to up their game.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      For someone that purportedly doesn't want one, or even has no interest in the iPhone, you sure do spend an awful lot of your time on them. I think that you have a massive man-crush on the entire Apple exec team and that's why you spend so much time obseessing about them.

    3. Markl2011

      "Though I still won't want one! Don't want people thinking I'm a complete twat"

      It's a bit late for that

    4. AdamChew

      No matter what

      Whatever the form factor Apple come out with they will always be plenty of comments saying their design is just not good enough.

      And also plenty of people looking for faults and finding faults with it,

      But then who can blame the iHaters.

  16. Xanderj

    I am Apple fan from day 1 but .. i got bored waiting for the iPhone 5 and i didn't upgrade to the 4S as i thought of this as being like getting Vista and wishing i'd got Windows 7, 10 monhts later.

    I got the S3 last month for free... and TBH it taken a lot of time to put up with it but it works well my only moans are "too customizable", volume buttons and power button location mean when you press power button you tend to change the volume at same time.

    I'll keep the S3 until the iPhone 5 comes out. (if its anygood)... The S3 will be on Ebay and i'll go back to Apple.. MAYBE.......... but it better be Quad core and offer something more than it does now.

    1. DougS Silver badge


      Why in the world had it "better be quad core"? What can you do with a quad core phone that you can't do with a dual core phone? I take it you must be from outside the US, since the S3 model sold in the US has a mere dual core, which you consider unacceptable.

      This type of obsession with useless specs that don't deliver any real world benefits is the whole reason why there are any phones at all with quad core. It is totally pointless in a phone, or a tablet for that matter. If you won't buy the iPhone 5 if it has only two cores then you better get used to that S3 or figure out what other Android phone you want to switch to if you are in the US and are therefore currently forced to endure the humiliation of using a phone with a mere two cores.

      Apple would rather beef up the graphics performance than waste die space on CPU cores that aren't needed, so not only do I think the iPhone 5 will be dual core, I suspect the new model in 2013 will as well. I could see saying "it better have LTE", "it better have a bigger screen", or even "it better have NFC" (if you actually have some use for NFC) Rumors seem to indicate it will have all three. LTE at least is a 100% certainty.

      If Apple announced iPhone 5 and didn't let on how many cores there were though word was that it was quad core, but a month after you got yours it was discovered it was only dual core after all, would it suddenly seem slower or otherwise deficient to you?

      1. hazydave

        Re: @Xanderj

        Quad core is the current state of the art, so Apple fans are going to demand that. They're likely to be disappointed -- unless iOS 6 goes very much further into real multithreading, Apple will not do quad core. They won't benefit from it.

        For Android users (and next fall, apparently, Windows 8 Phone buyers), the allure is obvious. You get a phone that, at peak, is twice as fast as today's dual core phone, but uses less than half the power (CPU-based power consumption, of course) doing the same work your dual core phone does today. If you don't know why this is, you don't understand multiprocessing and modern CPU power management... oh, sure, and die shrinks.

        Apple beefed up the GPU performance because that was one place they could actually see a performance improvement without dramatically changing around the OS. It's also reflective of the fact that iOS is the premiere handheld gaming platform today, and Apple knows that well and wants it to continue. GPU boosts don't help anything that's not using serious 3D graphics -- 2D graphics were well served years back. They're just wasted silicon and power. But for 3D, Apple took the crown on GPU performance, even with fairly average CPU performance (downclocking the iPhone to ~800MHz, while most contemporaries do dual core at 1.2-1.5MHz... though watch those Qualcomm Scorpion cores, they're not as fast per clock as the ARM Cortex A9. The Kraits, on the other hand, are substantially faster per clock cycle).

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Quad core is not "twice as fast"

          iOS supports multithreading just fine - it is based on the Mach kernel, just like OS X (it started as a stripped down OS X) which has done multithreading since before Linux even existed. You may be confusing multithreading with multitasking. While iOS does full multitasking, full functionality isn't exposed to 3rd party apps to prevent poorly written apps from sitting in the background sucking down the battery - its part of the walled garden approach Apple users that many Android users criticize.

          Properly writing multithreaded software is HARD. Even browsers don't do a very good job of using threads, at best they'll use a separate thread for a plugin or separate threads for tabs. How many people are going to use tabbed browsing on a phone, and actually have multiple tabs downloading/rendering at once? The whole point of phone apps is small applications that perform a few simple functions well. They don't need a bunch of threads, and certainly anything that is maxing out several cores at once for any length of time is going to suck the life out of your battery so fast you won't be able to use it long.

          I'd love to hear some examples of specific apps that not only make use of >2 threads on an ongoing basis (i.e., not just for a few limited cases) and are actually maxing out each core with every thread. An app that has 10 threads but only uses 5% of a core on each could run just as well using half a single core.

          Even PC applications rarely use quad core CPUs effectively, for the vast majority of PC users you could replace their quad core CPU with a single core CPU and they'd never notice the difference. That majority is far vaster when you consider phones.

  17. goldcd

    Doesn't necessarily follow Samsung

    flooded operators with marketing cash - I'd have thought the operators are as happy as Samsung to push a "phone users call us up demanding we provide them with by name - that isn't an iphone".

  18. Mark .

    Samsung have long been number one!

    The Samsung S2 has the top spot for about a year, and it just lost out to Apple in the month before the S3 release; the S3 has now already reclaimed this (e.g., ).

    Comparing single models is highly misleading anyway, as Apple only have one phone per generation, while everyone else has loads, so it penalises manufacturers for offering more choice (not to mention that Apple does have different Iphone versions, which all get called the same - yet minor differences in Samsung phones might award it a different model number). The only relevant statistic for comparing companies is company sales, where Samsung beat Apple hands down.

    Not to mention that "smartphone" is ill-defined - why is the original Iphone a smartphone, when it couldn't run apps, yet many of Nokia and Samsung's phones aren't smartphones? Whether something is a "smartphone" is simply down to how the companies market them. Comparing smartphones means you're comparing 100% of Apple sales to only a fraction of Samsung and Nokia.

    For mobile devices, Samsung are number one, and Nokia number two. It's sad to see the way the media scrape the barrel to try to make Apple still relevant. And if we compare by platform, it's even worse - Android dominates, even Symbian still has a larger installed userbase than Iphone, and Iphone has never been number one.

    It's interesting though that even on the flawed statistic of comparing individual models, the Iphone is beaten by just *one single model* of Android phone. Let's look at the years of reporting on Apple:

    "Apple are number one!" (Ignoring Nokia and Symbian)

    "Apple outsell Android!" (Ignoring Nokia and Symbian)

    "Er well, maybe Apple don't outsell Anrdoid [or Symbian], but they're the number one 'smartphone' company" [conveniently ignoring Nokia, not to mention using the flawed definition of "smartphone"]

    "Oh okay, Samsung also outsell Apple even on just 'smartphones', but the Iphone 4S outsells just one of many Android/Samsung devices!"

    What are we going to see next? Perhaps the media will have compare the Iphone 5 to a lesser popular Android phone (I've already seen "Galaxy Note 2 to compete with Iphone 5" headlines...)

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