Taiwanese brand HTC has overtaken Apple in the British smartphone market as smartphones available on 'free phone' put the squeeze on the iPhone.
According to telecoms buyer's guide site uSwitch.com, HTC handsets make up the top three smartphones in the UK, namely the Android based HTC Desire, HTC Wildfire and HTC Desire HD. The iPhone 4 comes in sixth, they said.
According to a TechEye report, the fall in Apple's fortunes is due to the iPhone no longer being a 'status symbol', customers looking for better deals than the compatively expensive iPhone and looking for more 'unique' offerings.
uSwitch claims that Android phones made up half of the top 10 smartphones and that affordable smartphones were the clear winners with the RIM BlackBerry Curve and Samsung Galaxy S edging out the iPhone.
"HTC has outsmarted the smartphone market by customising its handsets at a range of price points as seen by the Wildfire acting as an aspirational Desire," uSwitch's Ernest Doku told TechEye.
"Android phones have wlll and truly pipped Apple to the post," he added.
However Doku says that the new Apple iPhone 4 is set to provide a much needed boost to iPhone popularity in the UK, saying that it was "almost a dead cert" that the device will leap to the top of the British smartphone sales charts once again.
HTC recently launched a refresh to the firm's popular Desire and Wildfire smartphones, the Desire S and Wildfire S.