Samsung Galaxy blasts sales out of rivals’ orbits

SAMSUNG has tightened its phenomenal grip on the mobile market in recent months, with one in every two smartphones sold in Europe now made by the South Korean manufacturer.

Data from Kantar, the research firm, shows that the recent launch of the Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S4, propelled it to a 50 per cent share of the European market in the three months to the end of May. The closest rival, Apple, accounted for just under 18 per cent of sales on the continent, though sales are on the rise in the UK and US.

Infographic: Apple and Android continue to dominate

Kantar, which tracks smartphone sales by operating system, said that Apple’s iOS had 29.9 per cent of UK sales, compared to 65.2 per cent for Android, the Google software that Samsung and several other firms use.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone cemented it third place ahead of BlackBerry, with 7.8 per cent of sales compared to the Canadian firm’s 5.3 per cent.

Android claimed an extraordinary 70.4 per cent of European sales, while Apple had a relatively bigger market share in the more wealthy US – at 41.9 per cent against Android’s 52 per cent.

Android’s expanding slice of European sales comes amid EU scrutiny of Google, following allegations that it is abusing its smartphone dominance to promote other services like YouTube.

BlackBerry, whose shares nosedived on Friday as sales of its latest smartphones disappointed, had just 5.3 per cent of the UK market, less than half that of a year ago. It has also been overtaken as Britain’s fourth-placed handset manufacturer by Sony, which has experience a renaissance with the launch of its Xperia Z model.

Kantar’s Paul Moore warned Samsung that Sony is appealing to its customers. “With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince customers to stick with the brand,” he said.