Apple increases UK smartphone share for first time in year

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Apple took 42.8 per cent share of all smartphone sales in the UK last month, but Android still leads the way overall, accounting for almost half of the market

Apple’s smartphone market share in the UK stood at 27.8 per cent as of the end of October – the first increase it has seen since last November.

According to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple grew its UK market share 2.8 per cent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to October 30.

In October, Apple accounted for 42.8 per cent of smartphone sales, despite the iPhone 4S (pictured) only being released on October 14. It led Android in the month, which accounted for 35 per cent.

The Android operating system saw the biggest growth over the year, increasing 11.8 per cent to account for 46 per cent of the UK market.

RIM was third behind Android and Apple but saw its share fall by 1.3 per cent to 19.6 per cent. Symbian had a share of 3.9 per cent after a drop of 10.2 per cent while the Windows Mobile 7 OS held one per cent of the market.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: “The October launch of the hugely anticipated iPhone 4S has catapulted Apple into second place among operating systems based on the last 12 weeks of sales.

“With nearly half a year between iPhone launches, there has been a huge pent up demand for a new Apple device. We have previously seen that Apple customers tend to be very loyal to the brand. However, it is astonishing that 75 per cent of new iPhone 4S owners previously owned an iPhone.

“Most of these loyalists tended to own previous generation devices such as the 3G or 3G S models. However, 14 per cent previously owned an iPhone 4, demonstrating that quite a few people bought themselves out of their contracts to get hold of the 4S.

Smartphones made up 69.8 per cent of sales over the 12 week period, with 44.8 per cent of the British population now owning a smartphone.

“Sunnebo added: “While unwavering loyalty is clearly great news for Apple, it is likely to be a relief for other smartphone operators.

“With Apple predominantly driving sales from within its existing customer base, it leaves the field wide open for the likes of Nokia, BlackBerry, Samsung and HTC to focus on covering the remaining 29 million adults who don’t yet have a smartphone to their brand.”

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