Recently released smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel suggests that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) market share is about to grow in several key markets around the world. Although Android still maintains a majority share of the mobile operating system market in most countries, Kantar Worldpanel’s report notes that Android’s growth has recently slowed due to competition from Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) low and mid-range Windows Phone-powered devices, as well as overall market saturation.
According to Kantar’s data, Android held a 70.1 percent share of the European market during the last three months ending in August. However, while Apple has grown its year-over-year percentage of sales from 14.1 to 16.1 percent across five major European markets, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) has dropped almost two full percentage points from 49 to 47.1 percent.
Kantar strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo notes that, “After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find. Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony (NYSE:SNE), Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.”
Meanwhile, Apple’s U.S. market share has continued to “grow strongly year on year.” Apple’s iOS accounted for 39.3 percent of the market in the three-month period ending in August. This is a 5.4 percentage point increase over last year. Since Kantar’s data has not yet accounted for the impact that Apple’s recently released iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models will have on the market, Sunnebo notes that Apple sales are “set to spike in the coming months.”
The U.S. is not the only market where Kantar anticipates a jump in Apple’s market share. The market research firm expects that Apple will soon pull ahead of Android in Japan due to the iPhone maker’s recently signed distribution deal with NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM), Japan’s largest carrier.
Although it is not known how many iPhones Apple has sold to date, the Cupertino-based company revealed that it sold a record-breaking nine million iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models over the launch weekend. Here’s how Apple traded today.
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