Apple is closing in on Android's dominance of the global smartphone market, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The research agency's latest figures, for the 12 weeks ending 25 December, show Android had a 43.9% share of the market in Great Britain, up 23.7%. However, Apple's share of the operating system market leapt 54.5%, driven by the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: 'Apple has continued its strong sales run in the US, UK and Australia over the Christmas period. Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover.'
Nokia's Symbian OS collapsed during 2011. Its market share fell 80.5% year on year in Great Britain as the manufacturer launched the Nokia Lumia 800 with the Windows Phone OS. Despite the high profile launch, Kantar said Windows Phone 7 has yet to break past a 2% share in any country it monitors. It added that the Lumia 800 finished the fourth quarter just outside of the top 10 smartphones sold in the UK.
BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion, which had a difficult 2011, saw its market share fall by 31.2%. However, the devices were the brand of choice for gifting, with 57% of BlackBerrys bought as gifts in Q4. Sunnebo said: 'This rose to 76% during December and a whopping 55% of recipients were under 16, indicating BlackBerry's hold on the UK youth market.'
Kantar said 48.9% of Britons now own a smartphone and the devices accounted for 70.7% of all device sales during the 12 weeks to Christmas Day 2011.