The Symbian user of yesterday is the Android user of today

Five years ago if you wanted a phone with a few bells and whistles you would most likely go for a Nokia or (Sony) Ericcsson – they were plentiful, ubiquitous and with a variety of models to suit different budgets.    Now it seems the same reasoning drives people towards Android.

Comscore’s latest look at the European smartphone market is out.   It shows that Symbian lost the same % of users that Android gained (16%).  Android is now second to Symbian in the European smartphone market with Apple iPhones 3rd (37.8% vs 22.3% vs 20.3%).

Android ahead of Apple?  Depends how you measure it

However, though ‘Android beats iPhone’ makes for a good headline, the truth is less black and white.  As Comscore shows, in pure smartphone ownership, there are now more Android users.    But the Apple iOS ‘universe’ also includes the iPad, dominant in the tablet space, and iPod touch.

Indeed over a third of Apple iOS devices are apparently iPods, with iPod Touch owners being more active users of the app store than iPhone users – something worth bearing in mind when thinking about the popularity and reach of services like the photo-sharing network Instagram.

Back in April, the Apple’s European user base was double that of Android’s.   That gap will have shrunk, but I would still bet that there are more Apple than Android devices in the EU5.

A final point to note is the % of smartphone users as a % of the total in the UK (44.5%).   Indeed, in the last quarter for the first time more smartphones than feature phones were shipped in Europe.    Out of the five major EU states surveyed, the UK also leads in mobile social network use, with a third of UK mobile users having accessed social media from their phones.

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