Android continues to dominate the smartphone market worldwide, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech -- a market research company that tracks sales of handsets in key markets around the world. As the world's most popular smartphone platform, Google's mobile OS Android made up an average of 64.2 percent of all handset sales in the nine markets surveyed by Kantar, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and the U.S. in the 12 weeks that ended March 31, TechCrunch reported.
The only market where Android did not take out the top spot was in Japan, where Apple's iOS barely takes the lead with 49.2 percent versus Android's 45.8 percent. But Android handsets dominated every other surveyed market, regardless of whether the market is developed, emerging or financially struggling, per TechCrunch. In Spain, Android handsets made up the largest share of the smartphone market at 93.5 percent.
Android's growing lead in sales
Android's lead will only grow bigger, Kantar predicts. "We expect to see a further spike in its share in coming months, as sales from the HTC One start coming through and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is launched," Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar's global consumer insight director said in a report from Kantar. "This will pile pressure on Apple, Blackberry and Nokia to keep their products front of consumers' minds in the midst of a Samsung and HTC marketing blitz."
In Kantar's report, Sunnebo attributes Samsung's success to its varied and highly targeted devices that appeal to very different consumer types. "Samsung's Galaxy Note II is popular with affluent 25-34 year old males, the Galaxy SIII Mini appeals to younger females, the Galaxy Ace to older females while the Galaxy SIII has broad appeal," Sunnebo said in the report. "The fact that Samsung has so many models available in the market is not indicative of a scatter gun approach, simply a realisation that different consumers demand very different handsets, both in functionality, design and price."
iOS declining sales
On the flipside, without a handset launch in the first quarter of 2013, Apple's iOS has declined in every previously surveyed market with the exception of France. In the U.S., iOS dropped by almost 1 percent from the same time last year to 43.7 percent of the market compared to Android's 49.3 percent. The biggest drop was in Australia, where iOS sales declined by 2.8 percent to 31 percent of the market compare to Android's 61.7 percent. In France, iOS sales increased by 0.7 percent to 21.2 percent, but Android is still clearly in the lead with 63.3 percent.
Windows Phone gaining sales
In the U.S., Windows Phone is now the third highest selling smartphone platform at a modest 5.6 percent, a 1.9 percent increase from the 3.7 percent during the same time last year. The biggest jump was in Italy, where Windows Phone sales reached 10.9 percent of the smartphone market, a 5 percent increase from 5.9 percent during the same period last year. (See above image for more data)