updated 09:31 am EST, Mon January 27, 2014
Over 75 percent of market in some countries
As a platform, Android phones retook the top position in US smartphone sales during the last quarter, climbing to 50.6 percent of the market, according to new Kantar research data. iOS took 43.9 percent; Windows Phone devices were a distant third at 4.3 percent. In Europe, Android held a 68.6 percent share across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, leaving iOS at 18.5 percent, and Windows Phone at 10.3 percent. The numbers skewed on country-to-country basis, however; in Italy, for instance, Windows Phone grabbed 17.1 percent over iOS' 12.8 percent.
Windows Phone also trumped iOS in Latin America at 4.9 percent versus 4.3. Android, by contrast, controlled 83.5 percent of sales. That platform was slightly less powerful in China, but still overwhelmingly dominant at 78.6 percent -- up 4.9 percent year-over-year. iOS shrank 2.2 percent to 19 percent, while Windows Phone registered at 1.1 percent, below a homogeneous "other" category.
BlackBerry continued to slide, and now represents an almost negligible platform in markets like the US, Spain, and China. Regarding iOS, Kantar's Dominic Sunnebo comments that the iPhone has kept a strong presence in major markets despite losing sales. As for Windows Phone, he suggests that despite it being in the double digits across Europe, the continent's smartphone market is only growing by 3 percent year-over-year, which hasn't been enough to help Nokia. Windows Phone also sagged towards the end of 2013 in important markets like China, the US, and Latin America.
Another phone maker singled out by Sunnebo is Samsung, which he argues is "now coming under real pressure in most regions." The company's European share dipped 2.2 percent to 40.3, while its Chinese sales held flat at 24 percent.