Android nears 70% of European OS market after stellar 2013

Google’s Android OS finished 2013 in the ascendancy as the world’s number one mobile OS showed market share growth across 12 major global markets including key Asian markets.

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Figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months to December 2013 showed that Android was the largest OS in Europe with a 68.6 per cent share of the market and Apple lagging behind in second with 18.5 per cent as Windows Phone continued to show growth with a 10.3 per cent share.

“Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan. Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9 per cent in USA, 29.9 per cent in Great Britain and 19 per cent in China,” stated Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Windows Phone, meanwhile, has seen double digit gains in the past three months in Europe but it's market that is only growing three per cent per year and in “important growth markets” including China, USA and Latin America it has continued to deteriorate.

When it comes to manufacturers, Samsung is reportedly coming under sustained pressure in most regions and saw its European share drop 2.2 per cent to 40.3 per cent and its share of the lucrative Chinese market stayed at a flat 23.7 per cent.

“It’s no surprise that everyone is concentrating on high growth China, but currently local brands are proving clear winners. In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsung to become the top selling smartphone in China,” Sunnebo stated. “The combination of high spec devices, low prices and an ability to create unprecedented buzz through online and social platforms has proved an irresistible proposition for the Chinese.”

Related: iPad market share in China nosedives as consumers turn to Android tablets

The same study also revealed that smartphone penetration in the UK stood at 69 per cent in December 2013 and that 85 per cent of devices sold in the past three months had been smartphones. 34 per cent of those bought in the month of December were gifts, up from 30 per cent last year, and Samsung was top of the gift league with 30.7 per cent of this market, ahead of Apple on 28.4 per cent and Nokia with 17.6 per cent.

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