Demand for mobile phones increased again in Europe, last year – mostly due to the growing popularity of smartphone. According to the findings of the latest study conducted by the research company GfK, 3.2% more mobile phones were sold in 2011, the sales of smartphones increased by 67%.

Last year, 258 million handsets were bought by European consumers, a 3.2% increase on 2010.

In what concerns the smartphone segment, the number of devices sold in 25 European countries surveyed was 93 million. If in 2010, smartphones represented only 22% of sales in the mobile market, in 2011 the percentage increased to 36% – so that in December 2011 the share rised to 45%.

Retailers in all 25 monitored countries in Europe showed double-digit sales ranging from 35% in Britain and 105% in Eurasian countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. With a share in unit volume of over 17%, the UK is currently the largest market for smartphones in Europe, followed by Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with 16% in total. The average price paid for a mobile phone has increased in Europe by 8% between 2010 and 2011 – up to EUR 200.

GfK retail expert predicts that the digital devices industry – including mobile phones, TVs, computers, digital cameras, tablet PCs and desktop devices – this year will reach 22% of its global sales only from the sales of smartphones. This would mean an increase of 4 percentage points over the figure recorded in 2011.

The current analysis is based on data on the growth of mobile market in 2011 from 25 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

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