By Jason Theodorou

The popularity of smartphone devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S is serving as a huge boost to operating system Android’s profile in the UK mobile phone market, according to a survey by Gfk Retail and Technology.

While contract sales have grown less than 1%, sales of Android-powered phones have increased by 350%. Android’s share of the UK mobile contract market has increased from 3% in the first quarter of 2010, to 13.2% in the second quarter.

This growth is spurred in part by the aggressive marketing efforts which manufacturers such as Motorola and Samsung have put behind Android-powered smartphones.

Phones with an advanced Operating System (OS) continue to grow in the contract market, reaching 66.7% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to 55% in the first quarter of 2010.

Growth has been continuous since 2010 began and is expected to rise consistently throughout the rest of the year; GfK's latest monthly data shows that in June, phones with advanced OS represented 73.5% of the contract market.

Gfk analyst Megan Baldock said: "The figures suggest an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name... Operating Systems are no longer simply a by-product, but a key selling point in their own right."