Android Ownership up 2,429 Per Cent in a Year

The European smartphone market is growing 38 per cent year-on-year, according to figures released by comScore. But the figures reveal that in the last 12 months, although the dominant OS, Symbian, gained device owners, market momentum has now moved to the N. American operating systems of RIM, Apple and Google, each of which has grown by a substantial percentage over the past year. Android ownership has increased, in fact, by 2,429 per cent.

Between April 2009 and April 2010 smartphone ownership overall increased by 38 per cent, with Symbian up 18 per cent, RIM up 87 per cent, Apple up 161 per cent, and Android posting that 2,429 per cent increase.

“Google’s Android is most certainly the one to watch,” says Jeremy Copp, vice president mobile Europe at comScore. “It has gained about 1.7m users in a very short period of time and now accounts for 3 per cent of the European smartphone market. Crucially, Android user mobile media consumption is very high – slightly behind but comparable to that of Apple. The Droids are coming and current demand for the iPhone 4 implies a titanic battle between Apple and Google is imminent.”

comScore’s data also shows the impact that the first three generations of Apple’s iPhone have had on the European mobile market, in light of record pre-sales and extraordinary consumer demand for the iPhone 4, which went on sale this morning.

The iPhone currently represents just 4 per cent of the EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy) mobile market, but 18 per cent of the overall EU5 smartphone market. However, says comScore, the iPhone has facilitated fundamental change in mobile user behaviour and ignited fierce competition among device and operating system (OS) providers.

iPhone owners are the most voracious consumers of mobile media. With just 4 per cent share of the European market, iPhone users represent 12 percent of all mobile media users. 94 per cent of iPhone owners, use mobile media, 87 per cent use applications, and 85 per cent browse the mobile internet. Android comes a close second in all departments, with 89 per cent of Android owners using mobile media, 78 per cent using apps, and 83 per cent browsing the mobile web. The average usage across all Smartphone platforms is 65 per cent for mobile media, and 53 per cent for both app usage and mobile web browsing.

“The iPhone 4 is set to have a huge impact globally, with pre-order handsets selling out and retailing websites buckling under the pressure,” says Copp. “To date, the iPhone has had a disproportionate impact on the European mobile market, considering its relatively modest installed base of around 10m. It has catalysed the consumption of mobile media and opened the eyes of brands to mobile as an engaging marketing medium. However, it has also prompted other device manufacturers and OS vendors to elevate their game, so the poster-child of the smartphone generation now faces serious competition.”