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Over half of Brits own a smart phone, Android still on top

Over half the population of Great Britain owns a smart phone, a survey suggests -- with Android the most popular OS.

Over half the population of Great Britain owns a smart phone, a new survey suggests, with Android trouncing Apple's iOS to rank as the most popular mobile operating system in the UK.

The statistics come courtesy of the bods at the brilliantly named Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, who reckon 50.3 per cent of folks living in this sceptred isle own a smart phone, with these intelligent blowers making up 71.4 per cent of phone sales in the 12 weeks leading up to 22 January.

Android now holds an estimated 49.7 per cent of the smart phone market, up by 12.7 per cent from the same period last year, when it had a more modest 37 per cent slice of the mobile pie (and what a tasty pie that is).

iOS is becoming more popular too, clawing a 7.4 per cent share from its rivals to hoard a total 29.1 per cent of the market.

My 'A for effort' award would go to Windows Phone, which has clambered its way up to a 2.2 per cent chunk, up from 0.4 per cent last year. Obviously that's no great shakes, but it's a sign of progress for Microsoft's slick OS -- I hope that number is looking more rosy this time next year.

So who are these percentage points being nicked from? Not every OS can be a winner -- Symbian has lost 12.7 per cent of its slice, leaving it with a paltry 2.8 per cent of the marché. It's bad news for BlackBerry too, which now lays claim to just 15.5 per cent of Britain's mobiles, having dropped by 7.8 per cent. Ouch.

Kantar WorldPanel ComTech gets its data from 15,000 Brits who report every four weeks on whether they've changed their phone, tariff or network.

What do these numbers say to you? Who will be on top next year, and who will have dropped off the charts? Hit me with your predictions in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall.