While the iPhone continues to be the top-selling smartphone in the United States, the situation is quite different across the pond. The latest numbers from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveal that Android accounted for 70.4 percent market share in Europe during a three month period ending May 2013. The report is based on five major European markets: Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Samsung smartphones, which represent nearly half of all Android-based handset sales in Europe, greatly contributed to the overall success of Android throughout the region. iOS held a meager 17.8 percent market share, comparatively, for a distant second place finish among mobile operating systems. Windows Phone ranked third with 6.8 percent market share.
Android remained the top mobile platform in the United States as well, with 52 percent market share over 41.9 percent for iOS and 4.6 percent for Windows Phone. Android is rising at a much slower pace stateside, however, growing by just one-tenth of a percentage point in the past year compared to 3.5 percent growth for iOS.
“Across Europe, Android growth remains strong. However, in the US Apple’s expanded distribution agreement with T-Mobile is helping the iPhone keep Android growth at bay,” commented Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “T-Mobile is the smallest of the big four US carriers but it does have the capacity to give iOS a boost, particularly as 28% of its customers plan to buy an iPhone when they next upgrade.”
Apple currently sells its nine-month-old iPhone 5 alongside outdated iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models, and past release cycles indicate that it should announce a new smartphone within the next three to four months. Meanwhile, Samsung released the new Galaxy S4 in April and most recently expanded the lineup with the S4 Mega, S4 Zoom, S4 Mini, S4 Active and a separate model running stock Android.
While competition from Apple has always been strong, other smartphone rivals have also been stepping up their efforts against Samsung in recent months. In particular, Sony has emerged as the fourth-largest handset maker in Great Britain, thanks to many Galaxy S II owners upgrading to its flagship Xperia Z device.
“Samsung now finds itself in a position where, after two years of relentless growth, it must focus on keeping its existing base of customers loyal if it is to maintain its success,” adds Sunnebo. “As it stands, Samsung has the second highest loyalty rate in Britain (59%), but this falls well short of Apple (79%). With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince its 8.8 million customers to stick with the brand.”
Smartphone penetration has reached its highest levels ever in Great Britain, at 65 percent, with 85 percent of all mobile phones sold in the last three months being smartphones.