The devices running on Apple’s iOS had a 17.8% market share.
Google’s Android operating system powered 70.4% of the smartphones in five major European markets including in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain during last three months to May 2013, compared to 61.3% a year ago, according to a report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
During that period, 17.8% smartphones were powered by Apple’s iOS while 6.8% of the smartphones were powered by Windows OS.
The increase was driven by the popularity of Samsung phones running on the Android software, that account for about half of all smartphones sold in Europe.
In the USA, the Android based devices had a 52% share, while iOS devices represent 41.9% of the market and a 4.6% share is held by the Windows-based devices that went up 0.9% compared to Android’s 0.1% growth.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global director, Paul Moore, said that across Europe, Android growth remains strong.
"However, in the USA, Apple’s expanded distribution agreement with T-Mobile is helping the iPhone keep Android growth at bay," Moore said.
"T-Mobile is the smallest of the big four US carriers but it does have the capacity to give iOS a boost, particularly as 28% of its customers plan to buy an iPhone when they next upgrade."
The report revealed that 38% of current Xperia users are former Samsung owners and the transition to Sony was driven by the launch of Xperia Z that is also responsible for Sony’s growth in the UK.
In the UK, Samsung faces competition from Sony which is now the country’s 4th largest handset manufacturer.
"The flagship Xperia Z has driven Sony’s growth in Britain by successfully appealing to Samsung customers. Some 38% of Xperia’s users are ex-Samsung owners, the majority of whom have upgraded from the Galaxy S2," Moore commented.
"As it stands, Samsung has the second highest loyalty rate in Britain (59%), but this falls well short of Apple (79%). Samsung now finds itself in a position where, after two years of relentless growth, it must focus on keeping its existing base of customers loyal if it is to maintain its success.
"With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince its 8.8 million customers to stick with the brand."
According to the report, smartphone penetration in the UK reached 65% in May, with 85% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.