Korean manufacturer Samsung has emerged as Europe’s dominant mobile phone player, grabbing almost half of sales in the last three months according to market analysts Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Smartphone sales were driven by Samsung’s release of its flagship Galaxy S3 phone plus the growing popularity of Google’s Android operating system which runs on its phones and which accounted for two thirds of its European sales. Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and France are revealed, predictably, as Samsung’s biggest markets but the firm’s success has come at the expense of rival Android handset makers.

RIM’s BlackBerry handset was also hit by Samsung’s popularity.

As in the USA, Apple’s share of the European market similarly fell – largely because iPhone fans were thought to be holding back until verion 5 of the handset is expected to be released on September 12th [2012].

Kantar director, Dominic Sunnebo, revealed that much of Samsung’s sales were in low-end handsets, with crisis-hit countries Spain and Italy witnessing the most Android growth.