Android continues to dominate smartphones
Android retains its lead position as the most popular smartphone OS, with HTC and Samsung dominating the market between them. According to handset sales statistics released by research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android’s global market share for the three months to April is just over 50 per cent, up from 44.6 per cent last year.
Between them, handset vendors HTC and Samsung are dominating Android sales, holding 86 per cent of the market.
As noted by Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar’s global consumer insight director, when it launched in May, the HTC One X became one of Britain’s ten best-selling smartphones within one week. Meanwhile, the release of the Sony Xperia S and the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S3 also added to a surge of interest from consumers looking for their next upgrade.
Yet, despite the release of the Xperia S, Sony’s share continued to dwindle taking just 10.4 per cent of Android sales over the 12 weeks to mid-April, while LG holds less than one per cent. Both manufacturers have struggled to convince their existing featurephone consumers to switch to their smartphone ranges, with only 11 per cent of Sony featurephone users trading up to one of the firm’s smartphones over the past year. This figure is even lower for LG at just four per cent, Sunnebo said.
But there is some good news for the vendors, with Kantar expecting some big changes in manufacturer market shares over the coming months, with almost 22 million consumers aged 13+ changing their mobile device and almost 80 per cent upgrading to a smartphone.
The research suggests that Android’s stronghold is now becoming more prevalent across Europe, particularly in Spain where it holds 72.3 per cent of the market with year-on-year growth of 39.5 per cent.
With smartphone penetration in the UK at 53.1 per cent, the pool of featurephone users left to trade up is beginning to diminish, which according to Sunnebo, means smartphone manufacturers need to step up their game and find ways of stealing consumers from their competitors.
“Rich new content and features are a big driver for consumers looking to trade up. However, convincing users to switch brands requires an emphasis on the user experience – an area in which Apple excels. Consumers have come to expect top-end hardware and manufacturers are responding with innovative software, good services and exclusive content partnerships. These expectations from tech-savvy customers are yet another obstacle for Asian manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE, who will attempt to make a splash by releasing high-end models in the coming months,” he said.
OS (Operating System) Share – Smartphone Sales
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