updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed June 23, 2010
iPhone shaking Nokia's European stronghold
Apple has managed to claim second place in the European smartphone market in less than three years, new data comScore found today. It has grown from scratch to 18 percent of the core five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) and has kept Microsoft, RIM and Google down to 13, 8 and 3 percent each. Nokia still has most of the share as of April but has seen much of its once-secure position slip away, as it has let enough of its most important market drop to reach a total of 58 percent.
The study also reinforced the sluggish growth for some of the most established smartphone manufacturers and put the relative growth of Android in context. While the overall smartphone field has grown over 38 percent in the past year, Nokia's preferred Symbian platform only grew 18 percent to reach almost 57 million users. Apple, meanwhile, grew 161 percent to get about 10 million, and RIM jumped 87 percent to get 4.6 million BlackBerry users. Android has advanced a high 2,429 percent, but its extremely small share in April 2009 stil meant it had the smallest share of the entire group, at 1.8 million users.
Microsoft's Windows Mobile has only advanced eight percent in the past year and has given away most of its relative share.
The launch of the iPhone 4 is expected to only improve Apple's situation further, likely at the expense of Nokia. Apple's 600,000 pre-orders worldwide are much higher than expected and will come just as Nokia is setting low expectations for its own worldwide sales for the spring. Apple's actual launch sales should be higher as the number doesn't include in-store reservations or walk-in purchases.
On top of the market share results, comScore has also discovered that Symbian users are the least likely among European smartphone owners to use their devices for smartphone-level features. Nearly all iPhone owners use theirs fully for apps, media and the web, and a clear majority of Android phone owners do the same.