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Half of Britain now owns a smartphone

Android in the hands of a quarter of the population

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Almost half of the UK population now owns a smartphone, and Google's OS, Android, is leading the race.

According to research from market watcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, smartphone sales are on the rise. App-friendly handsets now make up 69.1 per cent of all mobile phone purchases, it said. And 43.8 per cent of Britons own one.

Google's Android OS can be found under the hood of half those handsets, with RIM's BlackBerry OS taking 22.5 per cent and Apple's iOS 18.5 per cent.

The figures are somewhat skewed, though, as data is based on a period that ended two days prior to Apple's iPhone 4S launch, which has undoubtedly boosted the company's position after it shipped record amounts of the latest iPhone.

Either way, the influx of Android has certainly made it the most adopted platform, with its share of the UK market rising from 29 per cent to 49.9 per cent from the same period in 2010.

HTC took the lead in Q3, accounting for 45 per cent of Android shipments, with Samsung taking a 38 per cent share.

Other manufacturers are lagging behind. Sony Ericsson dropped to 8.5 per cent over the three months to October, down from 25.2 per cent. Now that Sony has bought-out Ericsson's share of the company, it'll be interesting to see how it plans to tackle the decline.

Meanwhile, Nokia is fighting its corner with the upcoming Lumia 800 expected to boost the uptake for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, which currently holds just 1.4 per cent of smartphone sales here in the UK. ®

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