Apple continued to benefit from the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the three months to the end of November 2014, with the iOS operating system increasing its market share in Europe as well as in all other markets except for Japan as surveyed by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
While Android remained the dominant global operating system (OS), its market share dropped in most European markets, noted the research company. Across Europe's five biggest markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), Android's market share dropped to 66.8 per cent in the three months to end-November from 69.9 per cent in the same period of 2013. This compared to an increase in Apple's share by 6.3 percentage points to 23.8 per cent.
"Great Britain saw the strongest share decline for Android at 6.7 percentage points," said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. Apple's market share increased to 42.5 per cent of British sales in November--a growth of 12.2 percentage points year-on-year mainly at the expense of Android. The reference to 'Great Britain' indicates Kantar's figures do not include Northern Ireland, which forms part of the United Kingdom.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Android device manufacturers should not be too alarmed by the latest market share figures, however.
"A decline in Android market share does not necessarily translate into bad news for all the ecosystem's players. The choice of brands and devices within the ecosystem empowers consumers to drive different fortunes for the players in it," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research.
The company noted that in the three months ending November, Samsung particularly felt the pressure and saw its market share decline across Europe and in the U.S. "By contrast Motorola's share grew thanks to the refresh of the Moto X and Moto G offering good value for the money," Kantar commented.
Meanwhile Gartner said Android exceeded 1 billion device shipments in 2014, and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2015, with a 26 per cent increase year over year.
"From 2015, we expect Windows to grow faster than iOS, as the PC market stabilises and the challenge for the next iPhone to find significant growth becomes greater, narrowing the gap between the two operating systems," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
Kantar Worldpanel added that smartphone penetration reached 58 per cent in the U.S. and 65 per cent across Europe's big five economies by the end of November last year.
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