By Daniel Hunter

Recent smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Android continuing to gain share across Europe in latest 12 weeks of sales increasing its share to 67.1% share, up from 50.9% a year ago.

However, its rate of growth has slowed as week one of iPhone 5 sales show iOS gaining in the US and Great Britain.

Apple has increased its share from 18.1% to 28.0% in the past year across Britain, while in the US its share increased by 14.2 percentage points.

“While this latest data set only includes one week of iPhone 5 sales, we can see that in markets with a large number of existing Apple customers, sales have already seen a significant boost. We expect this momentum to be fully realised in the next set of results," Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented.

This week the UK joined the likes of the US, Germany and much of Scandinavia with the rollout of EE’s superfast 4G network.

“The rollout of 4G across the UK tomorrow is great news for consumers wishing to replicate their home WiFi experience on the go," Sunnebo commented.

"EE is in the unique position of being the only operator currently able to offer 4G services in the UK, but how much of an impact this will have on the competitive landscape remains an unknown.

“We expect to see a significant number of early adopters on Orange and T-Mobile trading up to a 4G EE contract; however, encouraging significant switching from competitors is likely to remain challenging. Consumers are increasingly savvy about new technology and there are likely to be a significant number of consumers who will wait until the likes of Vodafone and O2 bring out there offerings, in the hope that prices will be driven down.

“The message to consumers about the advantages of 4G over existing 3G will need to be very clear and indicate new possibilities which are open to subscribers. For example, already over 65% of Smartphone users access social networks on their phones, but it is in areas such as mobile TV and feature length streaming that 4G is likely to really open up new media rich experiences to users.”

In Great Britain smartphones made up 81% of all mobile sales, with this figure rising to 94% among 25-34 year olds. Even among 65+ consumers, smartphones made up 58% of purchases demonstrating the demise of the feature phone is imminent.

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