(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has achieved its highest ever share in the U.S. -- 53.3% -- in the latest 12 weeks with the iPhone 5 helping to boost sales, according to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
However, in Europe, Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android retains the highest share with 61% of the market, up from 51.8% a year ago. In Europe, Samsung Electronics continues to hold the top smartphone manufacturer spot across the big five countries, with 44.3% share in the latest 12 weeks.
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Apple takes second place in the Europe region with 25.3% share while HTC, Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) shares remain close in the chase for third position.
"Apple has reached a major milestone in the U.S. by passing the 50% share mark for the first time, with further gains expected to be made during December," said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Smartphone percentage penetration in Great Britain hit 60% in the latest period, with 83% of all mobile phone sales over the past 12 weeks being smartphones.
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"Although Windows sales in the US remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals. The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices," said Sunnebo.
Nokia continues to find it tough to attract younger consumers in Great Britain. Over the past six months, just 28% of Nokia Lumia 800 sales have come from under 35's, compared with 42% of all smartphone sales.
AAPL closed Friday's regular session down 0.46% at $519.33. The stock has been trading between $396.10 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.