updated 06:00 pm EST, Mon February 20, 2012
Kantar shows big gains for iPhone in Britain
The iPhone managed to retake a large part of its share of the UK smartphone space in the past year, Kantar WorldPanel found Monday. It had climbed from 21.7 percent as of late January 2011 to 29.1 percent a year later. Android was still in front with an unspecified amount, but as in the US, it wasn't at the expense of the iPhone.
Nokia's once-dominant Symbian was down to 2.8 percent, but it was apparent that its jump to Windows Phones like the Lumia 800 was possibly keeping at least some customers. Windows Phone now had more than two percent of the British market, and about a quarter of everyone getting a Windows Phone was coming from Symbian, a likely indicator they were Nokia loyalists.
Windows Phone users were more likely to explore their phones, Kantar said: 81 percent used social networking, moreso than in Android or iOS, and over 75 percent had used GPS. Nokia Drive is bundled on every Lumia phone and gives free, included turn-by-turn directions that have previously only been available on Android.
Analysts were careful to portray Apple's share gains, including in the US, as more than just a side effect of having a new model. Cutting prices and keeping the iPhone 3GS had kept both its sales and those of the iPhone 4 at similar levels while adding a larger number of iPhone 4S sales on top. The iPhone was reportedly back on top in the US at 48.4 percent to 42.6 percent, although this somewhat contradicted American studies.
The truer tests of demand are expected in the spring and summer, when Apple will have been fully distanced from the iPhone 4S launch. Android won't necessarily lose its position, but it now has trouble at HTC and few quickly growing challengers to Samsung's top spot.