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iPhone 5 tops mobile chart for first time as fans hold out for Samsung Galaxy S4

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 is overtaken by both the iPhone 5 and 4S and drops to third place, having ruled the roost for 10 months in a row

  • The new Sony Xperia Z slips two places after initial interest starts to wane, having entered the chart last month at number two

  • Brand new HTC One captures attention of smartphone fans, enters the chart at number five. 

Apple’s iPhone 5 has finally become Britain’s most popular smartphone, according to the Mobile Tracker, which is based on live searches, pre-orders and sales.  Last month saw the Samsung Galaxy S3, which was the UK’s number one handset for 10 consecutive months, drop to number three.

The Galaxy S3 has also been overtaken by the older iPhone 4S, as fans of the South Korean manufacturer bide their time until the Samsung Galaxy S4, which was unveiled on March 14, hits the shelves. But the manufacturer’s popular Galaxy range still dominates the chart, hogging four places in the top 10. The older S2 is still proving popular, and has climbed two places to number seven in March, as are little and large handsets, the S3 Mini and the Note 2 at number nine and number eight respectively.

The flagship HTC One, which doubles up as a remote control thanks to the inclusion of a feature called ‘Sense TV’, has gone straight into the chart at number five. Its super-sensitive ‘Ultrapixel’ camera takes up to 20 photos and a three-second video when you press the shutter button just once. These can be edited with Instagram filters and a soundtrack to make mini-movies.

The feature-laden yet affordable Sony Xperia Z, which entered the chart at number two in February based largely on pre-orders alone, has slipped two places to number four. The waterproof, dust-resistant and Sony PlayStation-certified phone boasts a 13-megapixel camera, HD recording and has been buoyed by a high-profile marketing campaign to become one of 2013’s early contenders.

Deals for the Xperia Z start at just £25 per month with a free phone – £6 per month cheaper than the iPhone 5 – and many retailers were also offering free Sony headphones worth £299 in the run-up to launch, so the price should be right for Sony to clean up. However, March’s biggest chart bargain is the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which starts at just £14 per month with a free handset. It’s back in the chart at number nine, having last appeared in the top 10 back in December 2012.

Android was the dominant operating system for March, with seven out of 10 handsets powered by the popular platform.

Number one handset – for the first time since its launch, Apple’s iPhone 5 is now the UK’s bestselling phone.

New entries – the flagship HTC One enters the chart at number five, having captured the attention of smartphone fans.

Biggest losers – March’s biggest losers were the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Sony Xperia Z and the LG Nexus 4 – all dropping two places as new handsets and deals shook up the chart.

Top Ten Handsets for March – correct on 31st March, 2013 





| Apple iPhone 5 (16GB) | iOS | Up two | |


| Apple iPhone 4S (16GB) | iOS | Up five | |


| Samsung Galaxy S3 (16GB) | Android | Down two | |


| Sony XPERIA Z | Android | Down two | |


| HTC One | Android | New entry | |


| Apple iPhone 4 (8GB) | iOS | Re-entry | |


| Samsung Galaxy S2 | Android | Up two | |


| Samsung Galaxy Note 2 | Android | Up two | |


| Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini | Android | Re-entry | |


| LG Nexus 4 | Android | Down two |

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, says: “It’s not just early adopters that are holding out for the Samsung Galaxy S4 to hit the shelves. Since the Korean manufacturer’s new flagship device was announced in mid-March, the S3’s popularity has already faded enough for not one but two iPhones to get ahead. That’s a big deal for the smartphone that has managed to spend 10 long months at the top of the smartphone table.

“Although it’s still Apple versus Samsung at the top of the chart, there is plenty of mid-table contention between flagship efforts of other manufacturers, including Sony, HTC and LG. It’ll be a blow to Nokia that the Lumia 920 isn’t leading the charge for Windows Phone this month, but there should be plenty of movement in the chart coming up, particularly with BlackBerry trying to lure back the faithful with their keyboard-toting Q10, not to mention Samsung making a concerted effort to upset the Apple cart with the heavily hyped Galaxy S4. Unlike the British Spring, things are certainly hotting up in the smartphone market.”


Katherine Moss

Phone: 020 3021 5893


Twitter: @uswitchPR

Notes to editors

  1. The Mobile Tracker data is derived from Omio's ( network of comparison sites, which includes and a number of leading consumer technology websites which total in excess of 10 million monthly page views. The data is a result of an aggregation of all of the clicks and all of the sales from these partner sites.

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