Google’s Android operating system strengthened its grip in key European markets over the first three months of 2014, with the platform now in use on 70.7 percent of all devices.
Data from Kantar Worldpanel’s latest smartphone operating system charts showed Android usage increased by 1.5 percent, to pass the 70 percent threshold. Rival Apple grew only fractionally, by 0.1 percent to 19.2 percent market share. It means the two firms have just shy of 90 percent of the market between them.
Meanwhile BlackBerry shrank even further, losing 1.6 percent market share, to take just 1.1 percent of the market. Windows Phone grew by the exact same amount, rising to 8.1 percent of the market.
The data relates to the big five European nations – Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – and in Great Britain the Windows Phone platform has performed well, as it now has 9.1 percent of the market, up 2.1 percent.
The data will no doubt be welcomed by Microsoft as it looks to increase its mobile market share, especially now it has completed its major acquisition of Nokia'a device unit.
But Windows Phone is still a long way behind Android and iOS, with Andorid accounting for 56.2 percent of the British market, and iOS 32.1. The data underlines Brits' love of iPhones, as Apple’s share grew by 3.4 percent in Q1 2014.
Android use actually shrank, by 2.2 percent, while BlackBerry again suffered, as its market share fell by 2.8 percent to just 2.3 percent of the total market, underlining the huge difficulty it faces to regain its former status as a market leader.
The UK is clearly a nation of smartphone addicts too, with the data from Kantar revealing that smartphones are now used by 71 percent of all phone owners, with 88 percent of all phones sold in the last three months smartphones.
While iOS use grew in Britain, it fell notably in the US, by 7.8 percent, as Android grew strongly, up 8.3 percent.
Apple will hope its iPhone 6 device, due to be unveiled later this year, helps buck this trend. However, the fall has not hurt the firm too much, as it recently posted bumper profits of $10.2bn for its most recent quarter, driven by strong iPhone sales.
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