Washington - The Android smartphone platform has extended its lead over Apple's iPhone in key markets including the United States, Europe and China, a survey showed on Monday.
Windows Phone, meanwhile, has made inroads to secure a strong third place showing in some markets, and is ahead of Apple in Italy, according to the survey of fourth quarter sales released by Kantar Worldpanel.
The survey showed Android, the free operating system from Google, remained on top in Europe and most other major markets outside Japan.
Android ended 2013 as the top platform across the five major markets in Europe with 68.6% share, while Apple held second place with 18.5%.
Windows Phone showed strong year-on-year growth, and in Italy captured 17.1% of the market, ahead of Apple's 12.8%, but behind Android's 66.2%, the survey showed.
In the United States, the survey showed Android share rising more than four percentage points over the past year to 50.6%, while Apple's share declined to 43.9%.
In Japan, Apple held 68.7% of smartphone sales, according to Kantar's survey.
In China, Android's share increased to 78.6% while Apple's declined to 19%.
"Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan," said Kantar's Dominic Sunnebo.
"Windows Phone has now held double-digit share across Europe for three consecutive months. Unfortunately for Nokia the European smartphone market is only growing at three percent year-on-year so success in this market has not been enough to turn around its fortunes - reflected in its recent disappointing results."