More than half of people in Britain own a smartphone.
According to data released from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the figure increased to 50.3% from 47.3% at the end of November. The figures also showed smartphones made up 71.4% of mobile phone sales in the 12-week run ending January 22 of this year, boosted by the Christmas period.
Android-based smartphones are the most popular choice, the data revealed, while nearly three in every 10 smartphone users have an Apple iPhone.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director, said: "Android holds on to its lead but Apple is making inroads, increasing its share of the British market from 21.7% a year ago to 29.1%. Windows Phone 7 is also creeping up, taking over 2% of the market for the first time with the Nokia Lumia 800 taking the lion's share."
Symbian's market share now stands at 2.8%, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's data shows, though many former Symbian users seem to be staying loyal to Nokia, with over a quarter of Windows Phone 7 customers - most of which own the Nokia 800 - having owned Symbian handsets in the past.
"One of the real positives for Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is how engaged its users appear to be with its devices - 81% of handset owners have used social networking on their device in the past month, higher than both iOS & Android. Meanwhile, three quarters have used GPS, indicating that its decision to include Nokia maps for free was a price worth paying to drive user engagement," Sunnebo said.
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the jump in Apple's UK market share isn't just down to the release of the iPhone 4S.
"Although the majority of growth is coming from the new handset, Apple's latest pricing structure is also working in its favour with no discernable drop in sales of older iPhone 4 and 3GS models," Sunnebo said.
However, trends in the UK market are not replicated in the US, where the iPhone is king, with 48.4% of the smartphone market. Android is just behind on 42.6%.