iPhone Overtakes Android in the U.S.; Android Extends Lead Abroad
Apple’s iOS operating system is once again the most popular smartphone OS in the U.S., claiming that title from Google’s Android.
New metrics released today by research outfit Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show that for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 28, iOS accounted for 48.1 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, surpassing Android, which accounted for 46.7 percent. The engine of Apple’s resurgence? The new iPhone 5, which helped the company more than double its share of the U.S. smartphone market year over year, and put it within reach of its all-time high.
“The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the U.S. was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods,” Kantar analyst Dominic Sunnebo explained. “This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3 percent and achieve its highest ever share of the U.S. smartphone market within the next two periods.”
That seems a reasonable prediction, given some of Kantar’s other findings. Of U.S. iPhone 5 sales for the period the firm surveyed, 62 percent came from existing iPhone owners upgrading to a new device. Meanwhile, 92 percent of existing iPhone owners said they’ll opt for a new iPhone the next time they upgrade. On the Android side of the equation, the operating system’s U.S. market share dropped to 46.7 percent from 63.3 percent. So in the U.S. smartphone market, the iPhone has not only buzz and brand loyalty, but an archrival that, for the moment, seems to be losing some traction.
Which is not to say that’s the case worldwide, because Kantar’s global data paints a very different picture. In the EU, Brazil, urban China, and Australia, Android is the dominant smartphone OS across the board. While Apple saw share gains there, as well — particularly in the U.K. where iOS rose 5 percent to capture 32.7 percent of smartphone sales — it is clearly well behind Android.
Apple’s combined share of the Top 5 European markets is about 21 percent, up one percentage point from the previous period. And Android’s share? 64 percent, up from 51 percent a year earlier.