Samsung Galaxy SIII still the most popular smartphone in the UK

Samsung Galaxy SIII still the most popular smartphone in the UK

Using data gathered through live searches, pre-orders and monthly sales, the uSwitch.com mobile tracker produces a monthly top 10 of UK smartphones in terms of sales, not shipments. Its latest results, published this week, reveal that after seven months, the Samsung Galaxy SIII is still the UK's most popular phone and that after only one month, the iPhone 5 has fallen from second place in the charts to third, overtaken by the iPhone 4S, the handset it was meant to replace.

As well as bad news for Apple, the chart also brings good news for Google. Its LG Nexus 4 handset has gone straight in as the fifth most popular phone in the country after its November roll-out. However, it's Samsung that dominates the charts, holding five of the top 10 positions including seventh place for its phablet, the Galaxy Note II, which is meant to be a niche device.

Of the iPhone 4S claiming second place, ahead of its replacement, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, put the handset's popularity down to the fact that, now that it has been usurped as Apple's flagship device, UK network operators are offering it as a free smartphone on competitively priced monthly contracts. "The affordable price point has kept the Samsung Galaxy S3 at the top of the tree, but whether it will be at the top of the Christmas tree remains to be seen, as price drops for both the 4S and 5 have seen the iPhone quickly gaining ground. As for the Christmas number one, the Apple brand could well reign supreme and see the iPhone 4S take over in the final straight as the gift of choice for consumers, especially at these reduced price points. Eight months may well be just that month too long for the S3 to wear the mobile crown," he said.

Interestingly, uSwitch's findings tally with those of investment bank Canaccord Genuity in the US. On Monday, it reported that while the iPhone 5 is the top-selling handset with three of the country's biggest network providers, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 were also performing very strongly over recent weeks. In particular, the iPhone 4 was currently sold out at many stores due to being offered as a free handset with a two-year contract.