When you mention smartphones the name that pops into everyone’s mind is Apple and the iPhone but despite this Android is the most used smartphone operating system in the UK. The mobile operating system created by Google now has a 37% market share amongst consumers in the UK, Apple trail with 29% share of the market. The research was conducted by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The research is not broken down into specific handsets but Q4 sales figures from Apple suggest that they will have the highest market share with Android sales split out amongst Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola.
The survey questioned consumers and retailers about the handsets that are purchased and used confirming other research that nearly half of the population of the UK now own a smartphone.
Android vs. Apple
While Android phones are performing well in the UK Apple is definitely dominating in the US. The US is the biggest smartphone market in the west and Apple control over 48% of the market compared to Androids 43%. The US is the only market where Apple outsells Android phones, according to experts this has been helped by the popularity of the iPhone 4s.
Android penetration is the highest in Spain with over 65% market share compared to just 9% for Apple. While Apple are experiencing phenomenal growth there is obviously room for improvement in some of the European markets, it will be interesting to see how Apples sales are boosted by the release of the iPhone 5 later this year.
The growth in popularity of Apple and Android phones has seriously effected other smartphone manufacturers mainly RIM and Nokia. In the UK RIM experienced a fall in market share from 18.7% to 18.1% and Nokia’s Symbian lost nearly half of its market share over the last 12 months.
Nokia fight on
Nokia are struggling to compete with Apple and Android even their new Windows Phone only grew its market share by 0.4% up to 2.2% over the last 12 months. The release of the Nokia Lumia 800 has been the main reason for this growth. Nokia is expected to be the largest seller of Windows Phones ahead of competitors Samsung and HTC.
Nokia are hoping to make further inroads into the smartphone market with the release of two new models this year, the Finnish phone manufacturer is forecasting to grow their market share to 8% by the end of 2012.
It is obvious to see two operating systems dominating the smartphone market, Apple and Android and it will take a huge change in consumer tastes to change this.