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Apple and Google extend mobile lead


By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 at 15:37

Apple and Google have extended their dominance in the mobile market to create an almost Europe-wide duopoly.

According to Kantar Worldpanel smartphone sales data, the two top firms have grown their share from 74.3% to 86.9% of the UK market from October 2011 to October 2012 - with Android continuing to lead with 54.2% and iOS grabbing 32.7%.

Ailing RIM slid more than 11% to 7.9%, while Symbian has all but disappeared. Windows Phone managed to double its share, grabbing 4.6% of the UK market.

A similar pattern arose across the five European countries measured - the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain - as well as in the US, where Android's 16.6% slide was more than compensated for by iOS's 25.7% leap.

That handed Google and Apple a 94.8% share of the key market, leaving RIM and Windows fighting over scraps. The US is the only nation on the Kantar charts that favours Apple over Google, or that saw a slide in Android's popularity.

"The majority of US iPhone 5 sales, 62%, have come from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device, although Apple has also benefited from people switching from Android devices (13%), people switching from BlackBerry devices (6%) and a small number of first time smartphone owners," Kantar noted.

Italy loves Windows Phone

Aside from the notable exception of the US, the Kantar stats revealed Android growth in every market - topped by a 31.1% leap in Brazil.

In Germany, three-quarters of smartphones sold feature Android, helped by strong Samsung sales. "Germany remains a tough market for Apple with its share falling by 5.1 percentage points over the past year," said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar. "The Samsung Galaxy S3 has taken almost a quarter of the country’s smartphone sales over the past 12 weeks to boost Android yet further."

The data also revealed variations in other mobile preferences - for example, iOS has only 4% of Spanish smartphone sales, less than even Symbian.

Perhaps the most intriguing national difference is Italy's love for Windows Phone, which Sunnebo pinned on strong sales of the latest Nokia Lumia handsets. Microsoft's mobile OS has a 11.7% share in that country, its highest in the nine surveyed markets by some margin.

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User comments

Something's not right...

"RIM slid more than 11% to 1.9%, ...Windows Phone managed to double its share, grabbing 4.6% of the UK market"

But the chart shows RIM with a higher share than Windows Phone.

By martindaler on 27 Nov 2012

Good spot, that's a typo. RIM should be on 7.9% - not 1.9% - for the UK.


By Nicole_Kobie on 28 Nov 2012

One reason...

for Apple struggling in Germany is the customer support, or lack of it.

We have been through dozens of iPhones - in the last 2 years, we've had to swap out 8 faulty iPhones, from a fleet of 6 iPhones.

The official repair procedure is that the carrier collects the faulty phone and returns it (hopefully) repaired 2 weeks later, no replacement phone or loaner for that period.

For one user, who has had 4 duff iPhones, we signed up for AppleCare and, for the 250€, they will provide a replacement phone straight away. We used that last week, but the replacement phone had more faults than the faulty phone, so we sent that back!

On the other hand, faulty Android and Windows Phone devices are automatically swapped out on-site for a new phone, if the phone is damaged through the user (E.g. smashed screen), we have to pay a service charge, otherwise the replacement is free of charge.

I think the fact that the UK has a lot of Apple Stores, which seem to make the replacement of faulty phones easier, is probably a strong reason why the iPhone is more popular in England.

By big_D on 28 Nov 2012

Italy loves Windows Phone

Of course they do. It's far more stylish than either of the rather samey, and fussy looking, icon driven alternatives.

By ktillyer on 29 Nov 2012

The results for each area reflect where Apple operate.

For example, in Spain there are 10 stores, but 3 are in Madrid and 2 in Barcelona, leaving only 5 others scattered to areas which are mostly within reach of ex-pat communities near the med coast.

As big_D says, presence in Germany is also not as big, with only 10 stores (2 in Hamburg).

Italy has 12 stores concentrated mainly in a few large cities.

The UK on the other hand sees 35 Apple Stores, covering most of the UK. The rest of Europe only sees a small number of stores, if not just one, in most countries.

By GoneWithTheWind on 29 Nov 2012

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