Surprisingly, Samsung stole the top spot in the tail end of 2009, going hard in the run up to Christmas with 33% of the market in their touch driven grip – evergreen prepay sellers like the Samsung Tocco Lite were a major contributing factor.
Spurred by the first phones to sport Nokia’s new ‘letter plus single number’ nomenclature – the X3 and X6 – as well as the E72 business handset, the Finnish phone maker reclaimed the no. 1 spot in early January, with around 30% of the UK market sewn up.
The Korean manufacturer is still firing off a salvo of strong handsets including the Samsung Genio Slide and Genio QWERTY, as well as starting 2010 with a heavy advertising push towards the female demographic with the Android-powered Galaxy Portal.
Hinging on the handset’s ability to use augmented reality to find the nearest shoe shops and bars (seriously), Samsung aims to increase their (according to Gfk stats) 21% share.
Dispelling a disappointing fourth quarter to the annals of history, they manufacturer is pinning their hopes on the high-def credentials of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, with a phalanx of Android phones in hot pursuit.
With the Google-powered trio of the XPERIA X10, X10 mini and the X10 mini pro alongside the Vivaz and QWERTY-fied Vivaz pro, Sony Ericsson is focusing on a core group of smartphones to suit all tastes.
Fourth place is a bit of a surprise, with BlackBerry stealing the spot from Korean manufacturer LG in a last ditch bid for smartphone supremacy.
Canadian firm Research In Motion – makers of the BlackBerry – have been successful in targetting the prepay market with handsets like the Curve 8520, as well as benefitting greatly from the brand’s mainstream popularity amongst the ‘celebutante’ crowd.
This has seen the firm raise their cut of the UK market to a healthy 11%, leapfrogging LG despite the company’s first foray into Android waters with the InTouch Max GW620.
Still going strong with between 8 and 9% of the market, the Korean manufacturer looks to continues to innovate at both ends of the spectrum.
Despite being the first manufacturer announced to work with Windows Phone 7 Series as well as exploring Intel’s smartphone tech with the GW900, LG are still focussing on the feature phone heartland with a range of devices with the Cookie Fresh and Cookie Plus.
Despite the iPhone’s seeming ubiquity on British streets, Apple’s iconic device only has a small fraction of the market at large.
What is certain is that the industry’s inevitable shift towards a ‘smartphone democracy’ will mean that what was once bleeding edge tech will trickle down to affordable price points more quickly than ever, whilst still keeping those top tier handsets for the geeky elite (ourselves included) to flash down the pub.
We’ll be sure, as ever, to let you know how to get those hot handsets on the best mobile phone deals…
Thanks, Mobile News.