According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android has doubled up its UK smartphone market share in the last year, with Symbian losing ground massively – unsurprisingly.
More surprisingly, though, is that Apple has also lost significant share to the advancing Android army.
The stats released show the market share in the UK for the quarter leading up to August. Android had a clear lead at the top of the table with almost half the market captured – a 47% share, doubling up from 23% in August 2010.
And it isn’t Apple in second place, but Rim, who might not be performing so well in the rest of the world, but managed to rise from 17.4% to 21.5% in this country (in the US, the company fell heavily from 23.6% to 6.5%).
Apple was pushed down to third place, dropping from 28% last year to 20.8% this year, just behind Rim.
Of course, the worst performer was Symbian, which was in second place with 26.3% last year. That solid figure dwindled away to 7.2%.
There was also bad news for Microsoft, who lost market share despite the launch of Windows Phone 7 late last year.
ComTech measured Windows Mobile as dropping from 3.7% in August 2010 to 0.7% now. That would have been fine if those users had transferred over to Windows Phone 7, but WP7 only picked up 1.7% of the market.
Meaning Microsoft’s total mobile share across both operating systems dropped from 3.7% to 2.4% since the launch of WP7, a pretty damning result. The story is even worse in the US, with a drop from 6.9% to 3.4%, as people appear to have given up hope when it comes to the Windows smartphone.
Whether Nokia can spark more interest in the new OS – another ailing company – we’ve never been convinced.
Over the quarter, smartphones made up 68.5% of all sales, which means that ComTech estimates that 41% of Britons now own a smartphone.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at ComTech, observed: “We are also now seeing that the type of software on a phone is influencing what handset a person buys.”
“This has provided key opportunities for previously little-known manufacturers such as HTC and ZTE, who use popular operating systems. For example, 25% of consumers who purchased a ZTE smartphone claimed they did so because of the Android operating system.”
ZTE has just introduced its own brand smartphones to the UK, previously having issued models under the Orange label (such as the San Francisco).
Budget smartphones such as these are doubtless a big part of the equation, as you can get an Android smartphone for not much more than £50 these days.