updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2011
comScore has Android up on iPhone in July 2011
Android is now just past the iPhone in European smartphone market share, comScore determined in a Tuesday breakdown. In the five biggest European countries, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, Android more than tripled its share from a year ago to hit 22.2 percent in July and just pass the iPhone. Apple was still up, however, and had climbed from 19 percent last year to 20.3 percent.
RIM bucked its downward trend in North America and was up from eight points last year to 9.4 percent.
All of the gains were at the expense of older rivals, analysts found. Nokia's Symbian was continuing its precipitous slide and fell from 53.9 percent of smartphones to 37.8 percent, making up almost all of the share Android gained. Microsoft also saw losses that weren't as steep as they were worldwide but were still severe, cutting the combined Windows Mobile and Windows Phone back from 11.5 percent to just 6.7 percent.
A rarer look showed how Android use changes from country to country in Europe. HTC dominates Android use in Britain, where 50.9 percent of phones are devices like the Desire S or Incredible S. It often has at least a quarter of the market in otehr areas, although Samsung dominates France, where phones like the Galaxy S II have pushed it up to 42.3 percent. Sony Ericsson's Swedish roots have helped it routinely keep in the double digits.
LG, which is late to committing fully to Android, was still usually in the single digits. Motorola's US focus and lack of footprint in Europe kept it in fifth place overall.
The study pointed to many of Android's gains in Europe coming from those abandoning Symbian but looking for its closest equivalent. Apple's attraction wasn't as definite but may have seen it attract a mix of converts from both Symbian and Windows Mobile. Plunging share for both Nokia and Microsoft may underscore the importance of the first Nokia Windows phone shipping before the end of the year, as Nokia is in danger of losing much of its clout before either side can take advantage of the Windows Phone switch.