Half of all smartphones sold in Europe are made by Samsung, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel.
The research revealed strong sales of the Korean firm's handsets helped Android cement its position as the region's most used mobile operating system. The firm said Android handsets accounted for 70.4 percent of all European smartphone sales for the the second quarter in 2013, a marked shift from its 61.3 percent share in the same period last year.
Apple iOS remains the second highest selling mobile platform, accounting for 17.8 percent of all smartphone sales, while Microsoft's Windows Phone took third place, accounting for 6.8 percent of the region's sales.
Global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Dominic Sunnebo, said that while strong in Europe, Android growth in the US is stuttering. "Across Europe, Android growth remains strong. However, in the US Apple's expanded distribution agreement with T-Mobile is helping the iPhone keep Android growth at bay. T-Mobile is the smallest of the big four US carriers but it does have the capacity to give iOS a boost, particularly as 28 percent of its customers plan to buy an iPhone when they next upgrade," he said.
Sunnebo added Samsung's victory may also be short-lived, with many regions, including the UK, beginning to show a preference for Sony's latest batch of Xperia smartphones. "The flagship Xperia Z has driven Sony's growth in Britain by successfully appealing to Samsung customers. Some 38 percent of Xperia's users are ex-Samsung owners, the majority of whom have upgraded from the Galaxy S2. Samsung now finds itself in a position where, after two years of relentless growth, it must focus on keeping its existing base of customers loyal if it is to maintain its success," he said.
"As it stands, Samsung has the second highest loyalty rate in Britain (59 percent), but this falls well short of Apple (79 percent). With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince its 8.8 million customers to stick with the brand."
The news will be particularly troubling for Samsung as the UK smartphone market is growing to become one of the largest in the region. Kantar reported UK smartphone penetration reached a record high of 65 percent in May. The growth means 85 percent of smart devices sold in the UK in the past three months were smartphones.
The news follows the release of Samsung's record breaking Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S4 is confirmed as Samsung's best selling to date, breaking past the 10 million sales milestone less than a month after release. The firm has announced a slew of new Galaxy 4 variant smartphones designed to ride the flagship device's success. These include the S4 Mini, Zoom and Active.
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