One in five prepay handsets purchased in December were smartphones taking the market share to ten per cent for the whole of 2010, according to market research company GfK Retail and Technology.
Although sales of prepay phones fell 7.4 per cent year-on-year during the month, smartphones accounted for 50 per cent of the market in terms of value.
The research indicates how smartphones’ share of the prepay market has been steadily increasing, rising from two per cent in 2009.
GfK analyst Megan Baldock said: “By the end of 2010 the rise in the share of smartphones in the contract market had stabilised.
“The prepay market is still gathering momentum and this trend looks set to continue in 2011.”
Research from the same analysts, published this week, also shows that internet sales have played a large part in the rise of smartphones, with one in five handsets being purchased online.
GfK Global Telco Marketing Director Aaron Rattue said that the web has been “a key source for high ticket technical goods” over several years.
The internet will continue to play a major role in the sales of mid to top level phones in the years ahead, he added.