BlackBerry sales crumble in UK as Android reigns

SMARTPHONES using Google’s Android software now account for six in every 10 handsets sold in the UK, with the likes of Samsung and HTC stealing sales from a struggling BlackBerry.

Data from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has revealed that British sales of Android devices have risen to 58.3 per cent of total smartphone sales in the three months to February, up from less than 50 per cent a year ago.

While Apple’s iPhone has held steady at 29 per cent, BlackBerry’s market share has collapsed. The once dominant smartphone manufacturer took just 5.1 per cent of sales in the period, down from 16.8 per cent a year ago.

Android continues to gain ground

BlackBerry’s sales were exceptionally low because the research’s three-month period ended before the February launch of the Z10, the Canadian firm’s flagship model and the first to run the new BlackBerry 10 software. However, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s Dominic Sunnebo warned that initial Z10 sales were unlikely to be spectacular.

“Although the new model received great reviews, it’s going to take time for BlackBerry to see share gains. Consumers just don’t have the same levels of pent up demand for the handset as they did for the iPhone 5,” Sunnebo said.

BlackBerry’s decline, which was repeated in territories including the US and Germany, boosted the likes of HTC and LG, which make handsets running Android, as well as Nokia, the main manufacturer of Windows Phone devices.

HTC took 9.1 per cent of sales while LG – driven by the popularity of the Google-branded Nexus phone – saw sales rise from a negligible level last year to reach 4.3 per cent.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, which recently overtook BlackBerry to become the third-best selling operating system in the UK, took 6.7 per cent of sales, with Nokia accounting for the majority of these.

Samsung remains the dominant manufacturer, however, taking 36.2 per cent of smartphone sales.