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Android further expands global dominance

Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, division of WPP that tracks handset sales in a number of key markets over a 12-week period has come up with some interesting data. The most interesting revelation is that Android is topping key markets including Britain, China, Spain, Australia and Germany, but in US and Japan, iOS is topping.

Windows Phone OS looks like it is doing a great job at being sold, and it actually is. The platform from Microsoft continues to grow in markets such as US and China, and there is a little growth seen in Europe, and by little we mean single digit percentage. Windows is experiencing strong European growth, particularly in Britain and Italy, where the current shares are 5.9% and 13.9% respectively, which is a substantial increase from just 2.2% and 2.8% a year ago.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “At the end of 2012 the global OS picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it experienced over the past year is beginning to slow as easy wins from first time smartphone buyers begin to reduce.

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries. However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

I’m not surprised that Android is leading in most of the markets as Android is open source platform and manufacturers are able to produce low-cost handsets with mediocre specs. In countries such as India and China where people don’t have a lot of disposable income, buying an overpriced iOS device isn’t practical, and that’s where these low-cost Androids step in. Android does a great job in high end segment as well, and buyers are able to get better specs on an Android device for the same amount of money they would spend on getting an iOS or a Windows Phone device, and not to mention the developer support Android has. In markets such as Spain, nearly 87% of all smartphone sold during the period were booting Android. In China, 72% of smartphone sales were Android devices.

More and more users are adopting smartphones, and we have data on smartphone penetration as well. According to the data, UK is topping the list and at 61%, it has the highest smartphone penetration of any market covered in the survey. Australia is the second-highest at 54%, with France in third at 46%. Other data includes Italy and Spain both at 45%; U.S. at 42%; China at 39%, Germany at 38% and Japan at 24%. Japan has a lot of early adopters of feature devices which are data-friendly, and that may be the reason for this low figure.

RIM is experiencing low sales, but the upcoming blackberry 10 platform looks promising and the new launches should increase the unit sales this year. What are your thoughts on these figures? Let us know.

Source: Kantar