In the UK, Apple’s market share grew to 31% in the 12 weeks to 30 November, up from 21% the previous year, spurred by the release of the iPhone 4S in October. Apple also made gains in the US and Australia.
O2 has benefited the most from Apple’s growth in the UK as it had the highest proportion of existing iPhone owners, who were more likely to upgrade to the 4S. The operator took 36.1% of all iPhone sales in the past 3 months.
While Apple grew sales in the UK, the picture was the opposite elsewhere in Europe. In France its market share dropped to 20% from 29% the year earlier, while in both Germany and Italy, its share fell from 27% to 22%.
Android continues to be the smartphone market leader in every territory included in the study, commanding a 47% share of the UK market, up from 35% the previous year, while one in two (53%) smartphones sold in the US run the Google-owned operating system.
BlackBerry, which suffered a major service outage earlier this year, had a 17% share of the UK smartphone market in November, down from 22% the previous year.
Last year BlackBerry handsets were the most popular phones bought as gifts for Christmas and Kantar Worldpanel predicts the trend will continue this year, meaning the company’s UK market share could rise in its next report. Around 55% of BlackBerrys sold this November were bought as gifts, the report claims.
Windows Phone has yet to make an impact on the market, only increasing its share from 0.4% to 1.2% in the year. The Microsoft brand will be hoping the launch of Nokia’s first Windows Phone handset series, Lumia, will help to boost sales in the comng months.