(Reuters) - The long-awaited iPhone 4S launch helped Apple Inc (AAPL.O) take top spot in the British smartphone market in October, overtaking phones using Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android platform, data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed on Monday.

Apple took a whopping 42.8 percent share of all smartphone sales, giving it a significant lead over Android -- a feat many thought was impossible, Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the firm, said in a statement.

With nearly a year and a half between iPhone launches there has been huge pent-up demand for a new Apple device, he said.

In October Google's Android had 35 percent of the British smartphone market, often seen as the indicator for the rest of Europe.

For the 12 weeks to end-October Android was still ahead of Apple, while Research In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO) held on to its 20 percent share. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE) had 4 percent and Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Windows Phone platform 1 percent share.

Nokia started to sell its first Windows Phone in Britain in mid November.