Android grows further to hold half of OS market in the UK


Operating system retains top position in the 12 weeks to April 15, with HTC and Samsung selling 86 per cent of all Android handsets in the period

Android now holds half of the operating system market share in the UK to retain its number one position ahead of Apple iOS.

That is according to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech in its 12 week measurements until April 15.

Android’s share is up from 44.6 per cent a year ago to 50.1 per cent. HTC and Samsung sold 86 per cent of Android handsets between them.

Despite the release of the Sony Xperia S in March, the manufacturer accounted for just 10.4 per cent of Android sales in the 12 month period, with LG holding less than one per cent.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: “With less than one week of sales, the HTC One X is already one of Britain’s 10 best-selling smartphones over this period. The release of the Sony Xperia S and the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S3 have also added to a surge of interest from consumers looking for their next upgrade.

“We are likely to see some big changes in manufacturer shares over the coming months. Particularly as we expect to see almost 22 million consumers aged 13+ changing their mobile device in the next year, with almost 80% of these consumers buying a smartphone.

The data showed that only 11 per cent of Sony feature phone users upgraded to one of its smartphones in the past year, with the figure lower for LG at four per cent.

Apple iOS grew 11.4 per cent to hold a 30 per cent share. Between them, Android and Apple have hold an 80.1 per cent share of the operating system market in the UK.

Research In Motion (RIM) saw its OS share fall 7.2 per cent year-on-year to 14.3 per cent, whilst share of the Windows Phone 7 OS rose 2.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

Sunnebo added: “With smartphone penetration in the UK at 53.1%, the pool of feature phone users left to trade up is beginning to diminish. This means that smartphone manufacturers need to step up their game and find ways of stealing consumers from their competitors – something that usually proves harder than convincing existing customers to trade up from feature phone to smartphone.

“Rich new content and features are a big driver for consumers looking to trade up. However, convincing users to switch brands requires an emphasis on the user experience – an area in which Apple excels.

“Consumers have come to expect top-end hardware and manufacturers are responding with innovative software, good services and exclusive content partnerships. These expectations from tech-savvy customers are yet another obstacle for Asian manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE, who will attempt to make a splash by releasing high-end models in the coming months.”