A new report from the IDC has shown a marked uptake in the number of European smartphone users, with Google's Android operating system accounting for nearly half the region's shipments.

The report from the IDC was released Friday, it suggested that for the first time in Europe's history smartphone shipments had overtaken those of feature phones.

The IDC suggested that feature phone shipments had dropped by 29 per cent while smartphone shipments had increased by around 48 per cent in the second quarter of 2011.

The report went on to clarify that smartphone shipments now represented 52 per cent of all European mobile phone shipments.

"This quarter was particularly important from the device type perspective," commented IDC's European mobile devices research manager, Francisco Jeronimo.

"Smartphones now dominate the Western European phone market and those vendors with stronger portfolios in the segment are consolidating their positions, compared with those manufacturers with less attractive smart devices.

"Android-powered handsets from the likes of Samsung, HTC, and Sony Ericsson have been able to drive strong volumes and to grab the biggest slice of share from the declining Symbian as Nokia moves to Windows Phones."

The growth was later largely attributed to a rapid uptake in European consumers use of smartphones running Google's Android operating system. The IDC reported that Android had seen the largest growth of any mobile OS, boasting a 353 per cent year-on-year growth in shipments.

The report went on to allege that the OS now accounted for 48.5 per cent of total smartphone shipments, citing the popularity of Samsung's Galaxy range of devices as a key factor for its success.

"Samsung was the most representative Android manufacturer, supported by the success of the Galaxy devices family," read the IDC's statement.

Despite Android's growth the IDC also reported an overall decrease in the mobile phone market.

The paper attributed the downturn to the decline of Nokia's Symbian OS and consumers desire to "wait" for a series of future high-end handsets. The paper specifically mentioned consumers waiting for the as yet unconfirmed Apple iPhone 5 as a contributing factor to the decline.