The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Android taking the European market by storm with its share of the big five countries growing from 38.8% in May 2011 to 60% in May 2012. It has also retained its number one position in the UK in the latest 12 weeks of sales with 52.5% share, up from 48.3% a year ago. Samsung took 56% of these sales and HTC holds 29%.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director, explains: “There was a period towards the start of this year where Android’s share began to flatline. However, in the past few months, we have seen a surge in sales, particularly in Spain and Germany.
“In Spain, recessionary pressures are clearly hitting consumers’ wallets -demonstrated by the budget Samsung Galaxy Mini topping the country’s sales charts. In Germany, the economy is clearly in a very different place, however, its major networks offer very low subsidies on handset purchases making it one of the most expensive countries in Europe to buy a smartphone. This means that smartphone penetration is the lowest throughout the major European economies. As a result, brands such as Huawei, which sell low-end Android models, are now starting to make inroads with almost 200,000 Huawei smartphones sold in Germany this year.”
RIM’s share in the US remains under intense pressure, falling to 5.2% in the latest 12 weeks, down from 9.2% a year ago. In Europe, RIM fairs better but continues to experience an intense competitive environment.
Dominic Sunnebo continues: “A year ago, RIM sales in the big five European countries were similar to that of the US. However, over the past 12 months there has been a paradigm shift with European RIM sales now around double that of RIM in its former US stronghold – this is historically down to geographic reasons with BlackBerry being founded in Canada.”
WP7 now holds over 3% share in most major markets, with its share highest in Germany and the US. Although the majority of WP7 customers in the US are first time smartphone owners, a significant proportion are also upgrading from previous generation WinMobile devices.
Sunnebo comments: “Our data clearly shows that in the USA, LTE/4G handset capability is crucial for brands wanting to steal existing smartphone consumers. As WP7 handsets with this capability start to become more prevalent, we expect to see signs of Android, RIM and iOS customers switching to the Microsoft platform.