Apple falls as Android leads smartphone sales

APPLE’s crop is suffering in Europe due to increased competition and the troubled economy as Android nabs the top spot in the smartphone market, the researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has revealed.

While the iPhone 4S has been flying off British and American shelves, customers in continental Europe have been less enthralled by the company’s latest offering to the smartphone market.

For the 12 week period to the end of November, Apple’s market share in France dropped to 20 per cent from 29 per cent a year earlier, while its share of both the German and Italian markets slid from 27 to 22 per cent.

By contrast, Apple’s share of sales climbed from 25 to 36 per cent in the US, and from 21 to 31 per cent in Great Britain.

Despite growing Apple sales in the US and GB, Android has raced past Apple as the top market holder in every country included in the study, providing 53 per cent of smartphones sold in the US and 47 per cent of those sold to Brits.

Android accounted for 61 per cent of smartphone sales in Germany, up from 17 per cent last year, making the Samsung Galaxy S II the top selling handset.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, pointed out that these sales do not include the Christmas period.

He said: “Last year just under a third of all phones bought were given as presents and this figure rose to 46 per cent in December 2010. We think this trend will be repeated in 2011.”

Blackberry handsets are the most popular phones bought as gifts.