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Android takes over Europe; Apple fights back with patent warfare

by Kristen Nicole

Android’s European takeover…

Much Android-related news this year has been about its growth. Thanks to widespread distribution, Google’s (GOOG) Android has taken on Apple (AAPL) in a formidable way, and is succeeding on many levels. That unstoppable growth has been a thorn for Microsoft (MSFT) too, as it looks to re-enter the mobile OS game with the heavy-hitting Windows Phone 7 system.

So far, Windows Phone 7 appears to be off to a slow start in the UK, where the mobile wars are mirroring much of what we see stateside. MobilesPlease reports that Windows Phone 7 devices make up for only three percent of smartphone sales, with Android outpacing Microsoft’s mobile OS by a huge 15:1 margin.

…on Nokia’s home turf

What’s more, the Europe-based Symbian OS is losing ground to Android as well. Revealed by IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo in a Bloomberg interview, Android is set to surpass Nokia’s (NOK) Symbian platform, as well as iPhone distribution, in Western Europe. HTC (2498.TW) takes up 39 percent of the Android market in this region, with Samsung (005930.KS) following at 14 percent. This demonstrates Android’s global appeal, as well as its influence in bringing handset makers back to relevance, without having to own the cart and the horse.

Apple fights back with patents

With the iPhone being a victim of Android’s success, Apple is taking to the courts with an effort to slow Google’s growing influence over the mobile market. Apple has brought on more top legal representation in order to get at Android and other competitors on the patent level. It’s an ode to modern warfare, where a patent can make or break a company’s position in the market, making this a battle over strategic ownership of gateway properties to massive market share and control.