Android market share rises in Europe and Australia, but falls in U.S.

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphone platform now accounts for more than 50 percent of the market in most of the largest smartphone markets worldwide, including Europe, the United States and Australia. However, according to new research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android's market share has been falling in the United States.

In the U.S. market, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) share has grown while Android has contracted. As reported by Pocket-lint and other publications, Android's smartphone sales declined from 57 percent in July 2011 to 50.2 percent in July 2012. Meantime, Apple's iPhone share increased 8.7 percent to 37.4 percent of the U.S. smartphone market during the same period.

Indeed, earlier this month research firm comScore reported that Android's market share growth was slowing, hovering just above 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market for the third consecutive month. The company attributed Android's decline to a recent upswing for Apple's iOS: Five years after the retail launch of the first iPhone, the iOS mobile operating system now powers 31.9 percent of all smartphones in the U.S., according to comScore, up from 31.4 percent in April 2012 and an increase from 30.7 percent in March.

Analysts at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech attributed Apple's rise in share to the release of the iPhone 4S and the growing number of U.S. carriers offering the gadget.

Though Android's share in the United States is shrinking, the reverse is true in the United Kingdom and Australia. In the United Kingdom, Android's market share has risen by 8.5 percent from July 2011 to July 2012; the platform now commands 57.2 percent of the market.

In Australia, Android is gaining share, increasing from 36.4 percent in July 2011 to 56.9 percent in July 2012. Likewise, iOS dipped from 36.9 percent in 2011 to 30.5 percent in 2012.

Kantar analysts noted that while there are many factors to explain Android's growth in the past year, the company believes that Android smartphones offer the best price and functionality for those who want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone.  

For more:
- see this release
- see this Pocket-lint article
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this FierceWireless:Europe article

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