Mobile statistics

The latest facts about mobile use.

The convenience of our mobile phones has made them an everyday necessity for most people. From messaging to GPS tracking, mobile phones have revolutionised the way we work and communicate in the 21st century. With increased ownership, the power of mobiles in shaping human interaction is set to continue.

The latest stats

  • In 2018, 95% of households owned a mobile phone, up from 79% 10 years prior
  • BT (including EE), O2 and Vodafone were the UK’s three top operators in 2018
  • 67% of the entire UK population use social media, of which 87% access social media through a mobile device

Mobile ownership over time

It’s not surprising to find that, in the past few years, mobile ownership has increased among all people, regardless of age. The general trend is that teenagers remain the most avid mobile users within the whole time frame, with mobile ownership decreasing as the age groups become older.
16-24 25-34 35-54 55-64
2012 66% 60% 43% 19%
2013 77% 73% 60% 32%
2014 88% 84% 72% 39%
2015 90% 87% 80% 50%
2016 90% 91% 83% 42%
2017 96% 96% 88% 47%
2018 95% 95% 95% 51%

Towards 2018, the youngest three age groups all share the highest ownership at 95%. The greatest increased ownership (17%) comes from the 35–54 age group between 2012 and 2013. While the overwhelming trend is that mobile phone ownership increases, ownership decreased by 8% for the 55–64 age group between 2015 and 2016.

The UK’s most popular mobile vendor

Since the release of the first popular smartphone by Apple in 2007, Apple’s popularity as top choice for UK consumers has consistently grown. It is now the most dominant mobile vendor on the UK market, owning 48.8% of the UK mobile market as of June 2019.
Apple Samsung Huawei Sony Other
2018-06 46% 31% 5% 3% 14%
2018-07 46% 31% 6% 4% 14%
2018-08 48% 30% 6% 3% 13%
2018-09 49% 29% 6% 3% 13%
2018-10 54% 26% 5% 3% 12%
2018-11 60% 22% 4% 2% 12%
2018-12 52% 28% 6% 2% 11%
2019-01 51% 30% 6% 2% 10%
2019-02 52% 30% 6% 2% 10%
2019-03 49% 30% 7% 3% 11%
2019-04 49% 30% 8% 3% 11%
2019-05 49% 29% 8% 2% 11%
2019-06 49% 30% 8% 2% 11%

How people spend time on their phones

With mobile phones having so many useful applications, Internet usage can be split to show which everyday tasks Brits are performing. A 2019 survey asking which activity they perform using the Internet on their phones shows most people are spending time messaging, but the majority of these people also spend a significant amount of time performing other tasks using the Internet.
Task Percentage
Messages 73%
Videos 70%
Maps 63%
Banking 51%
Games 47%

The most popular mobile apps and games in 2019

The 10 apps with the most monthly active users

1. WhatsApp Messenger
2. Facebook
3. Facebook Messenger
4. Instagram
5. Amazon
6. eBay
7. Snapchat
8. Twitter
9. Spotify
10. BBC News

The 10 games with the most monthly active users

1. Candy Crush Saga
2. Helix Jump
3. Pokémon Go
4. 8 Ball Pool
5. Mobilityware Solitaire
6. Clash of Clans
7. Wordscapes
8. Roblox
9. Subway Surfers
10. Candy Crush Soda Saga


Office for National Statistics

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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