Market share of the Android operating system in urban China increased over the course of three months ending this February, industry data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech suggests. As of this February, Google’s open source operating system accounted for more than 86 percent of all smartphone sales in urban China, a noticeable increase compared to the same period last year when “only” 77.1 percent of smartphone sales were those of Android handsets. Android’s market share was also on the rise from December to February in the top five largest European markets, i.e. Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain, and Italy. According to the same data, the operating system accounted for 75.2 percent of phone sales in those countries during the aforementioned period compared to 74.3 percent sales in the same timeframe last year.
Despite its small increase in the share of European sales, the Android operating system was on the decline in the United States, dropping to 55.9 percent of all handset sales in the country from December to February. For reference, the platform accounted for 58.9 percent of all phone sales in the U.S. during the same period last year. That noticeable decline could perhaps be attributed to last year’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that left consumers in the largest flagship market in the world without a brand new Samsung device to purchase over the holiday period, though that information hasn’t been confirmed. Regardless, Google’s operating continues to gain traction in China and that trend is likely to continue, industry analysts believe, noting that the latest increase can be attributed to the Chinese New Year and aggressive promotions many phone vendors were running during that period.
The slowing growth of Android in the largest European markets is likely a sign of market saturation, though it can also be connected to Samsung’s aforementioned phablet that ended up being discontinued after being recalled twice. Industry data obtained by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech also suggests that many U.S. consumers are interested in Google’s Pixel lineup, as almost one-quarter of all interviewees who are planning to purchase a new phone in the next half a year are considering either the Google Pixel or the Google Pixel XL. Despite that impressive demand, Pixel’s market share is still negligible, as it accounts for less than two percent of smartphone sales in the country, indicating Google has issues with its manufacturing operations, distribution channels, or both.