The smartphone market in France

In such a short time, smartphones have managed to redefine convenience. From booking reservations and looking for directions to streaming movies and playing games, smartphones offer a solution for everything, enabling us to make lightning-fast decisions. Of course, the developed world is more invested in smartphones, but that’s not to say they’re not a necessity in developing countries. However, technologically advanced countries will find it more challenging to envision a future without smartphones.

With that in mind, it is not surprising that France experienced a drastic increase in smartphone penetration between 2011 and 2018. Essential for making calls, messaging, and accessing the internet, smartphones have become daily essentials in the lives of the French people, including children as young as 12 years old. Let’s take a look at the smartphone market in France.

Popular smartphones & brands

Since Apple and Samsung are some of the leading smartphone manufacturing companies in the world, it’s not surprising that they’ve also taken hold of the smartphone market in France. Their high-end varieties, which include the yearly flagship phones, are prevalent in the country. 

In 2020, Samsung dominated the consumer market in France and was the preferred brand among users. According to Statista, the Korean manufacturer had a market share of 37% in the country, with Apple coming in second place with a 24% market share. 

Similarly, Android dominated the mobile operating system market in the country and boasted more than 27 million users and a 70% market share back in 2017. Again, Apple’s iOS came in second place with a 23% market share, followed by the Windows Phone and Blackberry operating systems. 

This year followed a similar pattern, with Samsung in the lead as the most used brand and Android’s market share climbing to 76.3%. However, Apple’s iPhone 11 was the leading smartphone model in France in 2022, with an 11% share. 

Surprisingly, the first, second, and third places were also occupied by Apple smartphones in 2020, which included the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone 11 Pro. These statistics beg the question about France’s smartphone usage habits, and how the consumer market is rapidly adopting smartphone technology.

Image: Tom’s Guide | Samsung Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13

Usage habits

The advent of 4G and 5G technologies has revolutionized mobile telecommunication, enabling companies to offer increasing functionalities in smartphone products, which have changed the internet consumption habits of French people. 

According to a survey, nine out of ten French teenagers between 12 and 17 possess a smartphone, whereas 95% of people aged between 18 and 39 have one. The most surprising statistic comes from the senior age group of people 55 years or older, which experienced an exponential increase in smartphone usage from 16% in 2012 to 44% in 2018!

Internet access, in particular, has increased mobile phone usage. Some of the most popular uses of smartphones in the French market include accessing the web for search engines, visiting social networking sites, playing games, and watching online videos.

Social media platforms

Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are top-rated in France. French people, including teenagers and adults, love socializing, and it’s a big part of French culture. In 2022, both TikTok and Instagram boasted more than a billion downloads, while Facebook had more than 5 billion!


French people love gaming. The most played genres in France include RPGs or role-playing games, strategy-based games, and first-person shooter games. The online gaming market is mainly dominated by big names like Supercell, which offers the popular titles “Clash of Clans” and “Clash Royale.” Many French people also enjoy gambling activities in online casinos.


Using smartphones to read news is another lifestyle habit brought on by faster internet technology. More than 80% of the top news apps in France are from French publishers and include Le Figaro, Alertes info France, and Breaking News. While Le Figaro and Alertes info France have 1 and 5 million downloads, Breaking News boasts more than 10 million downloads. 


Music apps like Apple Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Deezer Music are widespread in France. In fact, Deezer Music is one of the most prominent French publishers, owning up to 8 apps that have been downloaded more than 325.78 million times!

French people are significant contributors to the international smartphone market. While Samsung is the most popular brand, with Android leading the OS market, Apple’s iPhones managed to get ahead of the competition in smartphone popularity.

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