By Daniel Hunter
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to May 2013, show that almost half of all smartphones sold in Europe are a Samsung.
This uplift has helped Android to a 70.4% share across the five major European markets*, up from 61.3% a year ago, and far higher than the 17.8% and 6.8% shares for iOS and Windows respectively.
Android has also retained its place as the top OS in the United States with a 52.0% market share. However, Android’s share has grown by a meagre 0.1 percentage point in the past year — a far slower rate than 3.5 percentage points for iOS (now 41.9% of the market) and 0.9 for Windows (4.6%).
“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," Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented.
"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.”
In Great Britain, Samsung faces a challenge from a resurgent Sony which is now the country’s 4th largest handset manufacturer.
“The flagship Xperia Z has driven Sony’s growth in Britain by successfully appealing to Samsung customers. Some 38% of Xperia’s users are ex-Samsung owners, the majority of whom have upgraded from the Galaxy S2," Sunnebo continued.
“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. 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.”
Meanwhile, in developing markets like Mexico, Windows Phone is starting to prove it can be a worthy successor to the hugely popular Symbian-based devices. Entry level smartphones are selling well, for instance the Nokia Lumia 505 was the fifth bestselling smartphone in Mexico in the past three months.
Smartphone penetration in Great Britain reached a record high of 65% in May, with 85% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.
*Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
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