Windows Phone sales struggling against iPhone resurgence
Mid-range Android handsets also make gains.
Apple and Android have regained market share in a number of countries while Windows Phone growth has slowed, according to the latest market figures.
Apple was boosted by demand for its iPhone 5S in the first quarter, according to research released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. However, sales of Windows Phone handsets have struggled with increasing competition from mid-range Android devices.
Across Europe, Android remains the top OS with 70.7 per cent share (up 1.5 per cent on the year), while Apple holds second position at 19.2 per cent (up 0.1 per cent). Windows, at third, accounts for 8.1 per cent of smartphone sales.
The research found that smartphone penetration in the UK stands at 71 per cent in March, with 88 per cent of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.
In the UK, Android had 56.2 per cent market share while Apple had 32.1 per cent and Windows Phone managed 9.1 per cent share.
In the US, Android and Apple managed 57.6 per cent and 35.9 per cent of smartphone sales. Windows Phone only managed 5.3 per cent.
The Cupertino company was particularly successful in Japan following NTT DoCoMo's decision to finally start selling iPhones. Apple secured 42 per cent of smartphone sales on NTT DoCoMo, 59 per cent on KDDI AU and 81 per cent on Softbank.
"Apple regained ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5S, growing its sales share in Europe, Japan and Australia," said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
"By contrast, Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones."
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