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An interesting set of stats arrived today in the form of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s smartphone OS market share news.

Kantar appear to be one of the only research companies out there producing meaningful information for the mobile industry. They release marketshare data every four weeks — which is precisely what you need if you’re watching the industry closely for wider trends.

One of the most stimulating stats from the release today concerns Apple. Kantar reports that Apple now holds 18.3% of the smartphone market (based on 2011 Q2). Not bad you might comment. I’d agree. Perfectly fine for a ‘niche’ brand. However when you compare that with the same period last year, Apple’s share was set at 30.6% of the market. Not quite a 50% fall, but very near.

BlackBerry outsold Apple in this same quarter. They’re at a healthy 22.3% share.

Android is running away with the smartphone market at the moment though. In 2010 Q2, Android was hovering at 10.7% share. Fast forward a year and the OS is now accounting for a whopping 45.2% share. If you think that’s big, check out the US equivalent stat — Android has 57% of the market (compared to Apple’s 28.7%).

Now you will need really good eyesight for this table — but it’s worth it. It shows the market percentages for all leading platforms across a variety of countries:

Screen shot 2011 07 11 at 11 06 48

(I think you might need to subscribe to their regular reports to get the full size images!)

Kantar doesn’t just do the stats though. Their Global Consumer Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo has the following points to make from today’s release:

On consumers switching between Apple and Android:

“We are yet to see any real signs of consumers switching between Android and Apple. Our data shows that Apple and Android’s customers are intensely loyal when choosing their upgrade. One reason for this is the investment consumers make in their device through apps. In France for example, the average iPhone costs €215, and 17% of iPhone owners download more than 10 apps each month. This investment is then lost if they want to choose a different OS as the apps are non-transferable.”

On BlackBerry/RIM:

BlackBerry market share continued to grow in Great Britain – hitting 22.9% in the latest period. The strong appeal of the brand to the youth market shows no signs of abating, with 35.6% of customers aged 16-24. BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) use is key amongst this younger consumer, with 70% of BlackBerry owners, aged 16-24, using the BBM app in the latest four weeks.

Dominic adds: “With 63% of British consumers still owning a non-smartphone, future growth lays with upgrading customers. BlackBerry is currently attracting the most upgrading shoppers with 84.9% of its new customers previously owning a non-smartphone. Our data shows that most first-time smartphone owners look for lower prices. BlackBerry’s competitive pricing allows younger consumers to switch to a smartphone device at a price they can afford.

And here’s an footnote on Symbian in France:

Although struggling in most countries, Symbian staged something of a comeback in France this period, losing only 3.9% of its share in the last 12 months, despite the French smartphone market growing by 75% year on year. As the second best selling smartphone in this market over the last 12 week period, the Nokia C7 has been instrumental in Nokia’s smartphone revival in France.

Well then. Food for thought.

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