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With China being by far the biggest worldwide mobile market, the US so very competitive and heated up and smaller markets like Africa or South America growing at a remarkable pace, people tend to forget about EU5, the five leading European markets.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are major pieces of the global mobile puzzle, so a report on the key trends there issued by Comscore just piqued our interest. The report focuses on smartphone adoption and penetration across the five nations, and, as expected, intelligent mobile devices are on the rise everywhere.

Based on a three-month research ending in October, Comscore estimates smartphone penetration has reached 54.6% in the five leading European countries, which is a full 13% rise compared with last year. That means more than one out of two mobile phone users own a smartphone nowadays, with “dumbphones” finally losing their steam in the EU5 countries.

smartphone penetration

Out of the group, Spain remains the country with the highest smartphone penetration rate, a whopping 63.2%, up from 48.4% last year. UK is the close second, with 62.3% (up 14.2%), followed by France (51.4%), Italy (51.2%) and finally Germany, the only country where feature phones still rule (48.4% smartphone penetration rate).

As for the European smartphone “audience”, this has also shown a very promising 35% increase in just one year, from 97.7 million users back in October 2011 to 131.5 mil a couple of months back.

Taking a closer look at the UK, we’re still seeing Apple dominating the mobile OEM race, though given the recent trend Samsung might steal the top stop soon enough. The iPhone makers have captured 28% of the July – September 2012 smartphone audience, up just 1.5%, while Sammy has more than doubled its share, from 11.2% a year ago to 24% in the present.

smartphone os

RIM is the (surprisingly) close third, with a 15.2% share and just a 2.5% slump, while HTC comes in fourth, with 15% (down 2.7%). Nokia has fallen all the way to fifth, with just 7.9%.

Meanwhile, we have even better news from the smartphone OS ranks, where Android has widened the gap between itself and iOS. Google’s mobile operating system is very close to taking down half of the UK market (46.6% right now), while Apple has 28%, after a rather modest 1.5% bump. RIM comes in third once again, while Symbian and Microsoft are left to dust, with 6.4 and 3.1% respectively.

All in all, this is the second good news for Samsung in one day, although on a wider scale you can say it’s more important to focus on the smartphone market’s rise as a whole.

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