Android takes half of sales across Europe, US and Australia

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Operating system takes the majority of smartphone sales in major global markets, as RIM’s popularity continues to fall

Android has taken at least half of smartphone sales across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the US and Australia for the first time, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In the 12 weeks to June 12, 2012, Android’s share in the UK rose 8.5 per cent compared to the same period last year to 57.2 per cent. This is also an increase of 4.7 per cent in the past month. It’s share ranges from 49.6 per cent in Italy to 84.1 per cent in spain.

Share of Apple’s iOS platform in the UK was up 5.4 per cent from a year to 25.6 per cent, but fell 4.4 per cent in the past four weeks. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 saw its share more than double to 3.7 per cent, with a 0.6 per cent increase in the past month.

RIM’s operating share continued to fall, down 8.7 per cent compared to the same 12 week period a year ago and a decrease of 2.2 per cent in the past four weeks.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: “We are seeing much of the Android sales growth being driven by consumers trading up from feature phones to smartphones.

“Android handsets currently offer an easier platform to enable these consumers to upgrade, as many first time smartphone consumers state ‘price of handset’ and ‘multimedia capabilities’ as their main reason for choosing an Android device.

“Our data shows that Android has a higher share of those consumers spending under £50 on buying their handset across the vast majority of countries we cover.”

Kantar said that in markets such as the UK, smartphone penetration in the prepay market is increasing, with Android handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Ace and Y the standout performers.

It said these models are attracting younger first time owners, a group that has been traditionally loyal to BlackBerry.

Sunnebo added: “It’s important to understand the added value that these first time smartphone consumers bring to carriers and brands.

“When consumers trade-up from a feature phone, they spend significantly more on their bills and on buying their device.  The increase in monthly bill becomes even more important to the carriers, when we consider that most mobile contracts have a 24 month minimum term.

“Smartphone consumers are much more loyal to their brand of handset and carrier than feature phone consumers, highlighting the importance of capturing feature phone owners when they are starting to look to change their handset.

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