For the first time, Google's Android platform has become the leading smartphone operating system across three major European countries, according to market data released by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The research outfit claims that, based upon sales figures in the first quarter of 2011, Android achieved nearly 36 per cent of the French market, 25.5 per cent in Germany, and a 38 per cent share in the UK. Of note, the platform has now gained over 54 per cent of the US market, and 58.3 per cent in Japan, according to Kantar's statistics.
While these figures are impressive, the research firm's consumer insight director, Dominic Sunnebo, said in a statement: "Whilst it may seem that Android is moving forward virtually unchallenged in Europe, once you start to dig a little deeper, it can be seen that each country has a very different OS make-up.
For example, in the UK, BlackBerry is responsible for nearly 25 per cent of all smartphone sales with its customer base increasingly dominated by those under the age of 25 and women; while in Germany BlackBerry's market share is just 3.4 per cent, as the brand is still primarily seen as a business-based device."
Symbian, according to Sunnebo, is also holding up well in Germany where it accounted for 25 per cent of all smartphone sales over the last three months, while in Italy it is still holding a very respectable 46.9 per cent of the smartphone market.
Commenting on the challenges faced by Nokia and its OS strategy, Sunnebo claimed that key to its success was at which speed it could develop and build a competitive Windows-based smartphone. "As Nokia's core customer base does not comprise early adopters, a compelling range of Windows handsets brought out in the next 12-18 months would mean a large, untapped market of consumers could be tempted to move into the smartphone market - this is where Nokia could begin to fight back."
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