A new report from analytics firm Kantar Worldpanel shows that, while Android continues to gain market share in and dominate Apple's iOS around the world, it's the smaller brands that are really the recent winners in the smartphone wars.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, Android's market share rose 1.7 percent to 72.4 percent in the top five European markets of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Great Britain. Apple did improve slightly, although to a paltry 17.5 percent in the same five markets. Microsoft takes third place in Europe, with around 8.4 percent of the market after rising 1.6 percentage points. The report is based off three-month data ending in April 2014.

In the United States, Android rose 7.3 percentage points to end April with 59.1 percent of the smartphone market. Meanwhile, Apple lost ground at home by falling 6.8 points to 34.6 percent market share.   

Android's trend of dominating markets isn't new. Previous Kantar Worldpanel data indicated that Android held a steady 70 percent in major Latin American countries Argentina and Brazil. Reports on 2013's smartphone market show Android came out with approximately 80 percent of the year's smartphones.

Still, as well as Google's mobile operating system has done, smaller smartphone manufacturers have reaped even greater rewards in recent months.

"Across Europe there is an accelerating trend of fragmentation in the handset market as smaller brands gain real traction," Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, says in the report.

Companies like Huawei and Wiko that manufacturer cheaper handsets than behemoths like Samsung have reaped the benefits of budget-minded consumers. Huawei saw its sales jump 123 percent in the five European markets over the last year, while Wiko experienced similar triple-digit growth in Europe as well.

"Established brands like Motorola and Sony are showing resurgence and newcomers to the European market such as Huawei and Wiko are challenging the established names."

"Increasingly across Europe and the US we are seeing separation of tariffs and handsets, mirroring the dynamic seen in other parts of the world. Consumers are starting to realize the true cost of handsets, and as a result they are shopping around to find cheaper alternatives," Sunnebo said.

"This shift in behavior plays directly into the hands of lesser known brands like Huawei and Wiko, who are able to offer competitive technologies for a fraction of the price."

In China, the world's largest smartphone market, local smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi outsold Samsung for the second time.

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