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Android rules U.S. and Europe smartphone sales

New data by Kantar shows that Android has at least half of all smartphone sales in the U.S., Australia, and five major markets in Europe.

For the first time ever, Android has dominated smartphone sales in several major markets, including the U.S., Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia, according to data released today by market analysis firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In all of these countries, Google's mobile OS has taken at least half of smartphone sales, with the lowest being in Italy at 49.6 percent and highest in Spain with 84.1 percent. The data is from sales recorded over the last 12 weeks ending on June 10.

"We are seeing much of the Android sales growth being driven by consumers trading up from feature phones to smartphones," ComTech's consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement. "Android handsets currently offer an easier platform to enable these consumers to upgrade, as many first time smartphone consumers state 'price of handset' and 'multimedia capabilities' as their main reason for choosing an Android device."

ComTech's data shows that people who want to spend under $80 on a mobile device tend to go with Android. As far as smartphones go, the Samsung Galaxy Ace and Y are selling well, according to ComTech.

"Smartphone consumers are much more loyal to their brand of handset and carrier than feature phone consumers, highlighting the importance of capturing feature phone owners when they are starting to look to change their handset," Sunnebo said.

Despite Android's 50.2 percent share in the U.S., it's important to note that this number has decreased by 6.8 percent from last year. "This trend contrasts Apple's growth," Sunnebo said, "which is a reflection of a successful iPhone 4S release and the first time availability of the iPhone 4 and 4S on Sprint." Apple has 37.4 percent of the U.S. market, which is an 8.7 percent increase over last year.

Not surprisingly, RIM lost market shares across the board; and Symbian fared almost as dismally with just a 0.3 percent rise in the U.S. and decreases in every other country, including a 38.6 percent fall in Spain.

Android's domination in the mobile world seems to be an ongoing trend. In May, ComTech showed similar results with strong market share gains for Google's mobile OS.

Here is ComTech's newest data:

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that for the first time Android has taken at least half of smartphone sales in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, US, and Australia, recorded over the last 12 weeks ending June 10. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech