Apple’s iOS is feeling the squeeze from Google’s Android operating system in Blighty, with a stunning drop in market share over the last year, according to latest figures.
A report published by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel reveals that iOS, which powers Apple’s range of iProducts such as the iPhone and the iPad, has seen its market share fall to 18.3 per cent in 2011 compared to 30.6 per cent it commanded the last year.
In contrast, Android’s stake in the UK has soared from a measly 10.7 per cent to a market-leading 45.2 per cent, making it the most popular mobile platform by a mile.
Despite the decline, Kantar global director Dominic Sunnebo does not feel there is cause for alarm down Cupertino way.
He said: "We are yet to see any real signs of consumers switching between Android and Apple.
“Our data shows that Apple and Android’s customers are intensely loyal when choosing their upgrade."
The decline in share does not necessary tell the whole story, as actual sales of iOS devices could well have exceeded that of previous years. On the other hand, Android’s rise can be largely attributed to the growth of the smartphone market overall.
This is evident in the fact that nearly three-quarters of Android sales in the UK came from first-time smartphone buyers. Only 1.4 per cent were former iPhone owners.
Android has been tremendously successful so far at targeting customers migrating from feature phones, with more affordable handsets and of course, more frequent handset releases.
"A concern for brands targeting the lower end of the market is that once consumers have tried a smartphone they are prepared to spend more on their next device and could turn to other brands," said Sunnebo.
Apple’s prospects could improve dramatically when it inevitably launches the fifth-generation iPhone. Although delaying it any longer than the rumoured release date of September may well hand Google victory on a plate.