Samsung takes top spot in European smartphone sales

Research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech claims Samsung holds 45% market share across Europe thanks to the launch of is Galaxy S3 smartphone

Samsung is the best-selling smartphone brand across Europe, according to research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The analyst company published a study this week claiming the South Korean firm holds 45% of the market share across the region. 

This figure moved up to over 65% when just the “big five countries” were taken into account – UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – up from a market share of just under 43% in July last year.

The main factor has been the launch of its flagship smartphone product, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which overtook the iPhone in the UK as the country’s highest selling handset back in June.

However, Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said there was more to Samsung’s crown than this one device.

“While the majority of noise is focused on big-name products such as the S3 or S2, it’s easy to forget that Samsung is selling smartphones across all tiers,” he said.

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“As a result, it now makes up five out of the top 10 best-selling smartphones in Great Britain – with even the smartphone/tablet hybrid Samsung Galaxy Note making it into the top 10.”

However, rival Apple still seems to be winning in the loyalty stakes.

“As the iPhone 4S nears the end of its lifecycle, and rivals such as Samsung and HTC bring out new flagship products, we will inevitably see big changes in share,” added Sunnebo.

“However, [our] data clearly shows that the proportion of Apple consumers who have owned their device for at least 18 months and not upgraded has increased markedly over the past quarter, indicating that current owners are holding off upgrading until the release of the iPhone 5,” he said.

In the UK alone, 92% of iPhone owners plan to upgrade to another iPhone when their contracts come to an end, meaning when the iPhone 5 launches – probably later this year – the market share figures could shift again.

“Any dip in Apple share is likely to be short-lived, with the release of an updated iPhone in quarter three bringing momentum back to the Cupertino giant,” concluded Sunnebo.

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