iPhone most popular smartphone in the US but Samsung the leader in Europe

Apple has achieved its greatest ever share of the US smartphone market but in Europe Android is still king.

According to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, over the past 12 weeks, Apple has seen its share of the US market grow to 53 percent, due in part to the success of its iPhone 5. However, over the same period, Android has grown its share of the European market to an equally impressive 61 percent. This time last year the Google-owned operating system had a 51.8 percent market share.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: "Apple has reached a major milestone in the US by passing the 50% share mark for the first time, with further gains expected to be made during December."

And, just as Apple dominates in the US, Samsung continues to dominate in Europe, holding the number-one spot in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The handset maker now has a 44.3 percent share of the European market, compared with Apple's 25.3 percent.

Other notable findings include the fact that smartphone penetration has hit 60 percent in the UK -- 85 percent of all mobile phone sales over the past 12 weeks have been smartphones -- and that Nokia is managing to build some momentum, as Sunnebo explains: "Although Windows sales in the US remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals. The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices."

However, the Finnish phone maker is struggling to make itself attractive to younger markets, particularly in the UK. "Over the past six months, just 28% of Nokia Lumia 800 sales have come from under 35's, compared with 42% of all smartphone sales. With the Nokia Lumia 920 being one of the few handsets available on EE 4G, new tariffs may help to change this by attracting early adopters in the coming months," says Sunnebo.

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