Around half of UK smartphones sold are powered by the Google Android OS, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Android’s share has increased from 29 percent a year ago to 49.9 percent. HTC is leading the way for phone manufacturers using the OS, with 45 percent of Android-based phone sales in the 12 weeks prior to 2 October. Samsung took 38 percent of Android sales with Sony Ericsson contributing 8.5 percent, down from 20.5 percent a year ago.
RIM’s BlackBerry OS is the next most popular smartphone OS, present on 22.5 percent of UK smartphones while Apple’s iOS has 18.5 percent market share, down from 33 percent a year ago. Kantar’s figures were taken before Apple announced the iPhone 4S, a period during which Apple CEO Tim Cook said there had been a significant slowdown of iPhone sales.
Nokia’s Symbian platform, which is gradually being phased out, made up 6 percent of UK smartphone sales compared to 20 percent a year ago. And despite Nokia’s hopes that its new Windows Phone-powered Lumia smartphones will revive its fortunes in the coming year, Windows Phone took just 1.4 percent of sales.
Kantar's global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said the next year will see greater competition for Android sales as consumers come to the end of the contracts. Although users are likely to be loyal to Android, Sunnebo said loyalty to handset makers will be weaker.
The research also found that just under half of the UK population (44 percen) now own smartphones, with the growth in sales quickly accelerating – smartphones made up 69 percent of mobile phone sales during the period.