September 05, 2012 12:43 ET

The Apple of Our iPhone: One in Ten Look to Buy New Handset

As nearly one in four consider upgrading to the iPhone 5, Experian CreditExpert recommends people improve their credit rating in order to secure a new phone contract

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2012) - With excitement around next month's launch of the new iPhone 5 building to fever pitch, new research from Experian CreditExpert shows that one in ten (11%) of all mobile phone users will try to upgrade to the new iPhone when it is launched. However, a third (33%) are unaware that their credit rating affects their chances of getting a mobile phone contract of their choice.

The latest figures from Experian Hitwise highlight the popularity of the iPhone by demonstrating that no fewer than one in every 1,600 online searches for the week ending August 26th were for the iPhone 5. Last October, as rumours of the impending release reached a peak, one in 535 searches included the term "iPhone 5".

With the new model expected to cost upwards of £500 for the basic handset alone, consumers are looking to reduce the price by securing a new phone contract. One quarter (25%) of 18-24 year olds said they will definitely be picking up the new iPhone, but only 8% said that they were willing to pay more than £100 for their next handset.

One in 10 (11%) 18-34 year olds have been unsuccessful in applying for a phone contract because their credit score did not match the lender's criteria* with a further 10% suspecting that this was why they were turned down. In response, 41% opted for pay-as-you-go deals.

Half (49%) of respondents who had been turned down for a contract failed to take steps to improve their credit score, when in many cases simple measures, such as registering on the Electoral Roll or closing accounts that are no longer in use, can have the desired effect. Despite the release of the newest iPhone being just weeks away, only 9% of respondents plan to check their credit rating before trying to get their next phone.

Peter Turner, Managing Director at Experian Consumer Services in the UK and Ireland, commented: "Many of us are keen to get our hands on the new iPhone 5 but this eagerness could mean ending up paying more than we need to. Knowing your credit rating is crucial preparation ahead of purchasing a mobile phone contract. A monthly contract in your own name is also a good way for people with little or no credit history to develop their credit score."

Further insight from the research:

  • Half (49%) of consumers paid nothing up front for their current phone, with the same percentage looking for a similar deal next time around.
  • Ownership of an iPhone or a Blackberry is skewed towards younger adults, with 42% of 18-24 year olds owning one or the other of these two brands. Over 55s are considerably more likely to have a Nokia phone (33%). Ownership of Samsung handsets is more evenly distributed across all age groups.
  • Over 55s are the only age group where the majority are not on monthly contracts, with 56% on a pay-as-you-go plan.
  • 56% of those aged 55 and over spend less than £10 a month on phone charges, while the majority of 18-34 year olds (59%) do not spend more than £25 a month.

How can I improve my credit rating?

*You may be able to improve your credit score quite easily. Here are some helpful tips.

  • Make sure you make all regular payments on time, such as credit cards and mobile phone bills. Many organisations register information about their customers with the credit reference agencies. Missed or late payments are likely to be registered on your credit report and may harm your chances of getting credit in the future.
  • Make sure you are registered on the Electoral Roll at your current address. Creditors use it to confirm your name and address. If you are not on the Electoral Roll it might cause delays when you apply for credit and it can even cause some creditors to turn down your application.
  • Make sure that all of the information on your credit report is accurate and up to date. Dispute anything you don't agree with.
  • If you have financial links to people on your credit report which are no longer correct, ask for them to be removed (eg if you are divorced or separated but your former partner is still shown).
  • If there are special circumstances surrounding past credit problems, explain this by adding a notice of correction to your credit report. For example, you may have missed several payments because you lost your job.
  • Close any accounts you no longer use. A large amount of unused credit can affect your credit score. This is credit that you have already been granted and can take up without further checks. Keeping accounts open you don't use can also make you more vulnerable to fraud.

Notes to editors:

External consumer research conducted by Canadean Consumer on behalf of Experian CreditExpert, among a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in August 2012.

Internal research carried out by Experian Hitwise on behalf of Experian CreditExpert.

Key benefits of Experian CreditExpert membership:

  • Experian is the UK's most trusted credit reference agency
  • Experian is the credit expert with more than 30 years of experience
  • Free 30-day trial of CreditExpert* (*New customers only. Monthly fee after trial ends)
  • Weekly alerts of changes to your credit report
  • 24/7 web monitoring service
  • Access to an award-winning, UK-based customer services team
  • Identity Protection Insurance of up to £75,000** (**terms and conditions apply)
  • Expert advice and tools to help improve your credit rating
  • Intelligent price matching to credit products suited to your credit history
  • Consumers can apply directly from the website:

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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