(Reuters) - The long-awaited launch of the iPhone 4S has helped Apple win market share in the United States and Britain, although it is losing ground in the rest of Europe, data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed on Thursday.
"In Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia, Apple's new iPhone continues to fly off the shelf in the run-up to Christmas. However, this trend is far from universal," said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director.
The smartphone market is currently dominated by Google, which has stormed the market with its free Android platform.
Apple's market share in the 12 weeks to end-November rose to 36 percent in the United States from 25 percent a year earlier and in Britain to 31 percent from 21 percent, Kantar said.
Its share slipped in France to 20 percent from 29 percent a year earlier, in Germany to 22 percent from 27 percent, with similar drops also seen in Italy and Spain.
"The French market is showing increasing signs of price sensitivity," Sunnebo said.
In part, the European sales of the expensive Apple model were hit by weakening economies across the continent.
Google had market shares of between 46 and 61 percent in all markets. Cellphone makers like Samsung Electronics, Sony Ericsson, LG Ericsson and Motorola Mobility all use its Android platform in their phones.
"In Germany, Android achieved a dominant 61 percent share of smartphone sales in the latest 12 weeks, with the Samsung Galaxy S II the top selling handset," Sunnebo said.
(Reporting By Tarmo Virki; Editing by Jodie Ginsberg)