Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system expanded its lead over Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, while the latter suffered a significant drop in its market share during the same period, according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

During the three-month period ending in March, Android powered 57.6 percent of smartphones in the U.S., which was up 8.3 percentage points from the previous year. On the other hand, it was a tough quarter for the iOS in the country with the platform accounting for 35.9 percent of the market, down 7.8 percentage points from the same period last year.

Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone was third on the list with 5.3 percent of the U.S. market share, followed by BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) with a mere 0.7 percent of the market, the Kantar report said.

smartphone OS market share US Apple's iOS had a tough time fighting Android in Q1. Photo: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

Although iOS’ market share declined in the U.S., the platform regained share in Europe, Japan and Australia, thanks to the “strong performance” of the iPhone 5s, according to Dominic Sunnebo, a director at Kantar, TechCrunch reported.

In Japan, iOS had a market share of 57.6 percent, up 8.6 percentage points compared to the same timeframe in 2013. The platform’s total market share in Australia and Europe hit 33.1 percent (up 2 percentage points) and 19.2 percent (up 0.1 percentage point), respectively.

“Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network,” MacRumors quoted Sunnebo as saying. “The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple.”

However, iOS had a rough quarter in China, despite its partnership with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) to offer the iPhone on the network. iOS lost 5.4 percentage points to control 17.9 percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the third quarter of this year, while Android’s market share in China rose 8.1 percentage points to capture 80 percent of the market.

Check out the tables here:

kantar_march_smartphone_sales Smartphone OS market share around the world in Q1 2014. Photo: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech