Android grew 350% in UK last quarter, says research

Android's share of the UK mobile market grew by more than 10 percent in a single quarter, International market research firm GfK's Retail and Technology division announced today. The mobile operating system appears to be experiencing the same explosive growth the U.S. showed earlier this month.

According to GfK's research, smartphones reached nearly 67% penetration in the contract mobile device market in the second quarter, and by June had already grown to 73.5%. While the sale of new mobile contracts didn't even grow by a single percentage point, smartphone adoption is skyrocketing.

Research firm Strategy Analytics recently released data that agreed with this, tracking a smartphone shipment growth of 43% between 2009 and 2010.

This huge jump in UK smartphone adoption despite the comparatively small growth in new subscribers is thanks in large part to the incredible adoption of Google's Android operating system, GfK's numbers show.

Subscribers, in short, are replacing their old phones with Android devices.

Android device sales grew by an astonishing 350% during the second quarter, GfK estimated, a figure which is equal to the platform's growth for the entire year of 2009 according to mobile entertainment company Myxer last January.

GfK said Android now holds 13.2% of the UK contract market, compared to the 3% it had just one quarter ago.

"The figures suggest an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name," GfK analyst Megan Baldock said in a statement today. "Operating Systems are no longer simply a by-product but a key selling point in their own right."

Earlier in July, opinion polling group YouGov indicated a steep decline in UK consumer interest for Nokia devices. Though Nokia remains the mobile phone market leader in both the UK and worldwide by a huge margin, the company's challenge is in creating desirable next generation smartphones for consumers looking to upgrade their devices.

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