android phones take global lead

Android Reigns, Windows Gains in Smartphones

Japan was the only country in the survey where Apple was in the lead, with a 49.2% market share to 45.8% for Android.

WASHINGTON -- Google's Android mobile operating system extended its dominance in smartphones in the U.S. and other major markets in early 2013, according to a survey published on Monday.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Android was used on 49.3% of smartphones sold in the U.S. market in the first quarter, compared to 43.7% for Apple's iOS, the operating system for the Apple (IW 500/9) iPhone.

Android has thus boosted its lead from a year ago, when was ahead of Apple by a margin of 47.9 to 44.6%.

In other major markets, Android was even more dominant – with 93.5% of smartphones in Spain, 73.6% in Germany, 69.4% in China, and 63.3% in France.

Japan was the only country in the survey where Apple was in the lead, with a 49.2% market share to 45.8% for Android.

But the survey also showed gains in several countries for a relative outsider, Microsoft's Windows Phone, following the upgraded platform introduced in late 2012.

In the United States, Windows boosted its share to 5.6% from 3.7% a year ago, Kantar said. Windows grabbed 10.9% of smartphone sales in Italy, 7.2% in France and 7% in Britain.

"As iOS and Android continue to battle it out for top selling smartphone OS, we have seen Windows steadily grow over the past year and is now at its highest sales share figure so far," said Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato.

"Windows' strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a featurephone," she said, adding that this means prospects are positive for Windows, especially in the United States.

"With over half of the U.S. market still owning a featurephone, it's likely that many will upgrade over the coming year, which will ultimately contribute to more growth for the Windows brand," Parlato said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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