Both Android and iOS have increased their share of the UK smartphone market over the past 12 months, new research has found, with Google's platform now controlling nearly half the sector.

According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android devices made up 48.5 per cent of sales in the week ending February 19th – up from 37.8 per cent for the corresponding period a year ago.

Over the last 12 months, Apple's iOS has increased its market share from 22.7 per cent to 28.7 per cent, the study revealed.

Firms that lost ground during the year were Research in Motion – which dropped from 24.4 per cent to 17.1 per cent – and Nokia, which saw its Symbian operating system slide from 12.4 per cent to just 2.4 per cent.

Customers who purchase Apple devices were found to be the most satisfied with their gadgets, with an average rating of 8.8 out of ten, while these individuals were almost more likely to remain loyal to the brand when they upgraded their device.

Overall happiness ratings for smartphone users stood at 7.9, compared with 6.9 for users with other handsets.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel comTech, said this is because individuals with smartphones can do "so much more" with their devices.

"When you look at the way consumers are using their mobiles compared with just a year ago, the change is huge," he said, observing almost half of people with smartphones have used GPS or maps services on their gadget, while 39 per cent are downloading or streaming video to their handsets.

"All this helps to engrain the smartphone experience deep into consumer's daily routines and the quality of devices available means consumers have found little to complain about," Mr Sunnebo continued.

Recently, a study by Strategy Analytics found many users in the UK are demanding larger screens from the next generation of gadgets, which may make it easier to enjoy media content and browse the web.

Get the best deals on all printer ink cartridges for all brands including HP, Brother, Canon, Kodak printers.