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Android loses ground to iOS, hope for a turnaround may rest in Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge side by side S6
Giuliano Correia/Digital Trends
Android remains the top smartphone platform in the U.S. and Europe, but Google’s mobile operating system lost ground in recent months, particularly in Europe. Hope for Android’s recovery may rest in Samsung’s hands.

During the three months ending in April, Android was running on 52.2 percent of smartphones in the U.S., according to comScore. This was a decline of 1.0 percentage point from its 53.2 percent share during the three months ending in January. Apple’s iOS smartphone platform claimed 43.1 percent of the market in the most recent period, up 1.8 percentage points from its 41.3 percent share in the previous period.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports that Google’s mobile platform continues to struggle in the “big five” countries in Europe (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), where it shed 2.3 percentage points of market share since last year. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, has seen its market share in those countries rise 2.2 percentage points during that time.

“In Great Britain, Android share dropped by 4.9 percentage points, with the number of first time smartphone buyers continuing to decline to 15.1 percent from 21.8 percent in 2014 — and growth is coming from replacement sales, where both OS and brand loyalty play a big role,” according to Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. “Within the Android ecosystem, no one is in a better position than Samsung, when it comes to loyalty.”

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge flagship phones went on sale in April, so it’s too early to gauge their true impact on the market. “Samsung’s share of the smartphone market grew in the U.S., France, Germany, and Italy, but we are not in a position to say that the new models have been the ones fueling the growth,” according to Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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