Apple holds 28% of the UK smartphone market, with 8.6 million users, but Samsung is rapidly gaining on it after more than doubling its market share from 11.2% to 24%, based on data for the three months ending October 2012.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) came in third with a 15.2% share, while HTC was in fourth place with a 15% share, according to data from the comScore MobiLens service.
The research found that Spain has the highest smartphone penetration in Europe, with 63.2% of users having a smartphone, compared to a smartphone penetration of 62.3% in the UK.
Smartphone penetration has ballooned by 14.2 percentage points year on year in the UK for the quarter ending October.
Google's Android operating system is continuing to extend its lead over its Apple rival after increasing its UK market share by 12.4 percentage points.
Out of the 30.9 million smartphone owners in the UK, nearly half (46.6%) use the Android operating system, compared to 28% running on Apple’s iOS, which was boosted by a year-on-year growth of 1.5 percentage points.
RIM came in third in the operating system market with 15.2% share after a 2.5 percentage-point drop year on year.
The comScore research on mobile trends took in the top European markets, namely UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.Follow @mattchapmanuk