Samsung is on top for mobile sales in Europe

SAMSUNG has become the dominant player in Europe’s mobile phone market, grabbing almost half of sales in the last three months, according to data from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The Korean firm’s sales have been buoyed by the release of its flagship Galaxy S3 handset and the increasing popularity of Google’s Android software, which runs on its phones. Samsung’s share in Europe’s five biggest markets – Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and France – was 45 per cent, up from 21 per cent just a year ago. The rise has been mirrored by Android, with phones running the software accounting for two-thirds of sales.

Samsung’s success was bad news for rival manufacturers using Android, all of which have seen their sales hit, as well as BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and Nokia. Apple’s share of the market also fell ahead of the hotly anticipated launch of the new iPhone this year.

Kantar’s global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said that much of Samsung’s sales were in low-end handsets, with crisis-hit countries Spain and Italy seeing the most Android growth.