Mr Stapleton said the company was nevertheless devoting more space in stores to “wearable'” technology such as smartwatches in expectation of Apple’s arrival in the market. Among others, Samsung, Motorola and Sony have already launched competing devices but had limited impact in the mass market.

Carphone is diversifying as the mobile market on which it has been built undergoes major upheaval with BT’s takeover of EE, a move analysts expect to increase direct selling by operators of bundles of mobile, fixed-line and pay-TV services. Hutchison’s plan to merge Three and O2 is also seen as a challenge to Carphone.

Partly in response, the retailer is preparing to launch its own mobile service in the next few weeks, based on wholesale access to the Three network.

Mr Stapleton said Carphone was creating a “build your own tariff” service to be introduced later in the year that will allow customers to tailor their own package of minutes, texts and data when those on offer from the main operators do not suit.

The company has gained market share since the collapse last year of its main rival, Phones 4U, and is seeking to cement its position as the best option for mobile users who want to compare operators and try out handsets.

Mr Stapleton said Carphone’s research showed consumers still value physical stores, after a quarter of those surveyed in a YouGov poll said they trust online retailers less.

He said: “Navigating the thousands of tariff and handset combinations available on the mobile market can be a very daunting experience, particularly when you factor in the added complication of data allowances and varied network coverage.”