New sales figures for smartphones during the holiday period, defined as the twelve weeks ending December 23, 2012, show Android continued to perform well in most markets. Research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech numbers reveal Android continued to maintain a stronghold in markets like Britain, Germany, France, Australia, much of Europe, and the urban Chinese market. Market share ranged from 50 percent up to as high as 86 percent in Spain. The exceptions to Android’s dominance were in the U.S. and Japanese markets.
In the U.S. market, Android’s share decreased slightly to 44.2 percent and in Japan Android claimed just 31.9 percent. The other big player, iOS from Apple, claimed more than 50 percent in each of those markets. Dominic Sunnebo with Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says Android’s rate of growth slowed down during 2012, perhaps as a function of the law of diminishing returns among first time smartphone buyers.
The new sales figures show RIM and Microsoft are still pulling up the bottom of the charts, though Windows phones seem to be making some inroads in European markets. For instance, Windows Phone claimed 13.9 percent of the Italian market up from 2.8 percent the prior year. In another interesting bit of data found in the sales figures, the BlackBerry 9320 was the most popular handset given as a gift during December. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 grabbed the number two spot in that category and the iPhone 4S claimed third spot.
source: PC World