Smartphone sales in Western Europe grew in the second quarter of 2017 on the back of demand for new flagship devices, new research has found.

The region saw 36 million devices sold in the quarter, a 13 percent year-on-year rise, according to figures from Gartner.

Although the research firm did not provide equivalent figures for other quarters, Western Europe saw sales fall three percent in 2016, according to stats from Gfk.

Gartner said the return to growth was fuelled by demand for Huawei and Samsung devices, which respectively saw their worldwide sales grow 17 percent and eight percent.

In particular, Gartner highlighted the flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ as bringing back high demand for Samsung devices.

Overall, smartphone sales worldwide rose seven percent to 366 million devices in the quarter.

Sales grew 32 percent in the Emerging Asia/Pacific region reaching 78 million devices, while North American sales grew six percent to 40 million.

However, 33 million devices were sold in Latin America, a fall of 0.6 percent.

Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner, said demand for 4G smartphones in emerging markets was rising, translating into higher sales in the mid-price range.

The report also revealed that Google’s Android operating system had increased its lead over Apple’s iOS, reaching an 88 percent market share compared to Apple’s 12 percent.

The news comes as Google launched Android 8.0, nicknamed Android Oreo.

The new version of the OS, which adds new functionalities and security protections to Android, is set to launch on Pixel and Nexus devices soon, while other hardware makers are expected to upgrade or launch Oreo-ready handsets by the end of this year.

Apple’s iOS 11, which includes machine learning and augmented reality features, will feature on the iPhone 8 when launched later this year.

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