Android devices continue to dominate handset sales in Europe but owners on older models are switching to iPhone, fuelling sales of Apple mobiles.
Just over a quarter (27 percent) of iPhone buyers across Europe's biggest five markets have switched from an Android device in the three months to July, according to the latest smartphone sales figures by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The boost to iPhone sales from former Android owners is more pronounced in Europe than in the US, where just nine percent of owners of Google-powered mobiles made the switch to an Apple equivalent.
There have been consistent year-on-year declines for Android's share of the smartphone market across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, since the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
On average across the five nations, Android's share of sales has declined 4.1 percentage points year-on-year to 71 percent. iOS has climbed 2.5 percentage points to 17 percent, while Windows Phone is still a clear third now with 11.1 percent of sales, up 2.4 percentage points from a year ago.
Europe is also showing signs it's become a saturated smartphone market with 25 of smartphones sold going to first time buyers compared to 29 percent in the same period last year, Kantar said.
"This type of market maturity increases the impact of churn on overall performance as we have seen with Android this time around," Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, said. In other words, the profile of the market could be helping Apple and Windows Phone.
Kantar said the expected unveiling of Apple's next iPhones later this month could also change the dynamics of smartphone sales thanks to the company's practice of cutting prices on older models when successors are launched. It noted that in the US, for example, around a third of overall sales of the iPhone 5s followed the launch of the iPhone 6.
While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped win back consumers who'd switched to larger screen Android devices, Apple is not expected to make substantial changes to the design of the next set of iPhones.