Android continues to make impressive market share gains in smartphone sales, despite Samsung – the world’s most popular manufacturer of Android devices – coming under increased pressure during the last three months of 2013.
According to the latest smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android ended 2013 with a 68.6 per cent share of the EU5 market, up from 62.9 per cent a year ago. EU5 covers Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.
That’s way ahead of second-placed Apple, which claimed 18.5 per cent of the EU5 market by end 2013 (down from 23.7 per cent twelve months previously).
Kantar reports, however, that Samsung – which had a difficult Q4 – saw its European share fall by 2.2 percentage points to 40.3 per cent.
In China, Samsung’s share ended the year flat at 23.7 per cent.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, points to the success of China’s local brands as a main factor.
“In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsing to become the top-selling smartphone in China – a truly remarkable achievement for a brand which was only started in 2010 and sells its device almost exclusively online,” he said. “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.”
Nonetheless, according to Kantar, Android notched up year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets, including Europe, US, Latin America, China and Japan.
Apple’s iOS, by contrast, lost market share in most countries compared with the end of 2012.
More encouragingly, the Cupertino giant still managed to hold strong shares in key markets, including the US (43.9 per cent), Great Britain (29.9 per cent) and China (19 per cent).
Although Windows Phone continues to show high year-on-year growth, its share of the slow-growing EU5 market remained flat at 10.3 per cent for the three months end December.
“Windows Phone has now held double-digit share across Europe for three consecutive months,” said Sunnebo. “Unfortunately for Nokia the European smartphone market is only growing at 3 per cent year-on-year, so success in this market has not been enough to turn around its fortunes – reflected in its recent disappointing results. Its performance also deteriorated toward the end of 2013 in the important growth markets of China, US and Latin America.”