The numbers come from a latest report from research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

global smartphone sales iPhone market share falls sightly while Android posts gain once again

The report pools in figures for global smartphone sales during October – December 2013. Towards the end of last year, Google’s Android continued to increase its lead over its rivals, whereas Apple saw iPhone’s market share fall slightly in a few key markets. In major markets, Android ended up posting substantial year-over-year growth.

In the U.S., where iPhones have a firm footing, market share fell 5.8 percent points to 43.9 percent as opposed to Android’s 50.6 percent, translating into a 4.4 percentage point gain year-over-year. Smartphones powered by Google’s mobile platform showed similar performance in as many as 12 key markets, including but not limited to Europe, China, Latin America and Japan. The iPhone continued to hold its own despite the onslaught from Android, accounting for 29.9 percent and 19.0 percent market share in UK and China respectively. Apple continued to perform spectacularly in Japan, which happens to be its fastest growing market. By the end of 2013, the iPhone accounted for 68.7 percent of all smartphone sales in Japan, no doubted aided by the country’s largest carrier NTT DoCoMo which now sells Apple’s smartphones.

Later today, after the markets close, Apple is going to release its quarterly earnings report for the last quarter. The company is expected to have sold as many as 55 million iPhones and 25 million iPads during the time, analysts expect Apple to point single digit growth.

Source: Kantar