Samsung is the Most Preferred Brand for Next Purchase in the UK

The UK is a mature smartphone market driven by operator channels. Apple and Samsung dominate the best-selling list. Competition is intensifying with the likes of Huawei and Google coming out with very capable models in the premium segment. However, the results of Counterpoint’s Consumer Lens Study suggest that the rivalry between Apple and Samsung is expected to continue in 2019 and beyond.

Our study was conducted to understand factors influencing consumers buying smartphones in the UK. The study also examines consumer preferences in terms of brands, price bands, features, and more. We find that both Apple and Samsung have similar brand loyalty. As nine out of ten users of Apple and Samsung indicated that their next device will be from the same brand. Both brands also have their own set of fans in terms of age groups. For example, salaried respondents above the age of 35 showed a preference for Samsung. On the other hand, Apple is most popular among students and respondents in the 16-24 age group. Huawei is a distant third in both categories even though the P20 and the Mate 20 series, with their vibrant product design and camera features, were able to capture some interest among the youth.

However, looking at the overall market, Samsung is the clear leader in terms of being the preferred choice brand for the next purchase. Our study reveals that the future spending intention of consumers is one of the key reasons behind Samsung’s popularity. Nearly 40% of our survey’s respondents said they want to spend between US$100-US$300 for their next smartphone. Samsung’s strong portfolio in this mid-tier price band has helped it capture the mind share of British consumers.

Top Brands Considered for Next Smartphone Purchase in the UK

Source: Counterpoint Consumer Lens

Maintaining its lead will be difficult for Samsung. Rapid democratization of new technology has helped reduce the cost of a feature-packed smartphone. Mid-tier phones now look almost as good as premium devices and are even packed with high-end features. The likes of Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and others focusing on European expansion will start to challenge Samsung soon.

Samsung will also need to buck up its game if it wants to become the leader in the ultra-premium segment (>US$800). In this segment, Apple takes the crown for the most preferred brand for future purchase. Apple’s premium brand perception still intact with its offerings.  However, this has led to many old iPhone users holding onto their phones for a longer duration.

While Samsung has a healthy lead in terms of being the most preferred brand for future purchases, the Korean brand cannot rest on its laurels. Devices in the Android ecosystem are seeing high levels of innovation by brands like Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and others. The year 2019 will be known for innovation like punch-hole display, lossless zoom, foldable smartphone, and 5G devices rollout.

Getting users to switch from iOS to Android and vice-versa has had a limited scope so far in mature smartphone markets like the UK. Therefore, sales are mostly dependent on the upgrade cycle. More than half of the respondents to our survey bought their smartphones in the last one year and of these, one in three are planning to replace their device in the next one year. We believe, the UK smartphone market will be flat in 2019 and is likely to grow at a steady pace from 2020 with the increase of 5G penetration and introduction of new use cases.

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.