* Apple iPhone market share drops in France, Germany, Italy,
* Market share grows in US, Britain, Australia
* Google's Android leads markets
By Tarmo Virki
Dec 22 Weakening economies and falling
prices of rival smartphones are hurting sales of Apple
iPhones across Europe, data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel
ComTech showed on Thursday.
The October roll-out of Apple's iPhone 4S boosted its
position in Britain and United States, but the new phones failed
to excite interest in continental Europe, where Apple's share of
the fast-growing smartphone market slipped.
The smartphone industry is dominated by Google,
which has stormed the market with its free Android platform.
"In Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia, Apple's new
iPhone continues to fly off the shelf in the run-up to
Christmas. However, this trend is far from universal," said
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director.
Apple's market share in the 12 weeks to end-November rose to
36 percent in the United States from 25 percent a year earlier
and in Britain to 31 percent from 21 percent, Kantar said.
However, in France its share slipped to 20 percent from 29
percent and in Germany to 22 percent from 27 percent. Similar
drops were seen in Italy and Spain.
"The French market is showing increasing signs of price
sensitivity," Sunnebo said.
In part, the European sales of the expensive Apple model
were hit by weakening economies across the continent.
Euro zone GDP grew just 0.2 percent in the third quarter and
most economists expect it to contract in the fourth and also in
the first three months of next year, sending the bloc back into
recession after its two-year recovery from the worst global
financial crisis since the 1930s.
The euro zone's own crisis with government debt has scared
off investment and eaten into business and consumer confidence,
particularly since August when investors intensified their
scrutiny of the bloc's problems.
European consumers are keeping a lid on their expenses as
government spending cuts and job losses deprive companies of
demand for goods and crush exports.
Google had market shares of between 46 and 61 percent in all
markets. Cellphone makers like Samsung Electronics,
Sony Ericsson , LG Ericsson and
Motorola Mobility all use its Android platform in their
"In Germany, Android achieved a dominant 61 percent share of
smartphone sales in the latest 12 weeks, with the Samsung Galaxy
S II the top selling handset," Sunnebo said.