iOS Back on Top of the US Smartphone Market

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Posted 5 years ago

Earlier this month we reported about the Samsung Galaxy S3 becoming the world’s biggest selling smartphone, outselling the iPhone 4S and putting Android firmly at the top of the pack in the US. Sadly (for Android fans), the Google-owned operating system’s stay at the head of the pile is no more, as soaring sales of the new iPhone 5 have Apple has regained the position.

Data research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech are the people responsible for the findings that Cupertino will be delighted to see, with their research showing that iPhones now hold a majority 48.1 percent share of the US market.

Kantar’s figures have been complied over a 12 week period ending 28 October and show that Android has slipped to second place in the market with – a still very respectable – 46.7 percent share. These stats put iOS ahead of Android in the US smartphone market for the first time since the iPhone 4S was released at the back end of 2011.

“The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods,” says global insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Daniel Sunnebo. “This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

According to the research, Apple’s return to the top has been helped greatly by the loyalty of iOS owners, with 62 percent of iPhone 5 sales coming from existing owners of Apple products. The redesigned iPhone, with its larger 4.0-inch display, upgraded processor and new port connector, has also helped Apple steal away some Android and BlackBerry users, with 13 and 6 percent respectively making the switch to iOS.

Loyalty has always been a major factor in the success of Apple products, as Daniel Sunnebo explains: “Apple has always managed to maintain loyalty levels far above the competition, and this has clearly played a part in driving sales of its new device. An impressive 92% of existing Apple owners in the US said they will choose an iPhone the next time they upgrade. While loyalty is clearly key, it is also important to make sure that new customers are attracted to your brand. With roughly 60% of US iPhone 5 sales coming from existing customers and 40% from new consumers, Apple is achieving this at the moment – a clear sign of the strength of the brand in the US marketplace.”

Overseas struggle

While the American smartphone market is looking good for Apple, the same cannot be said for the European market, where Android continues to be the dominant force. The Kantar data shows that sales of Android in Germany account for 73.9 percent, while in Spain the figure is an even more impressive 81.7 percent. The picture is the United Kingdom is healthier for the iPhone though, where it holds 32.7 percent of the market.

“Germany remains a tough market for Apple with its share falling by 5.1 percentage points over the past year,” says Sunnebo. “The Samsung Galaxy S3 has taken almost a quarter of the country’s smartphone sales over the past 12 weeks to boost Android yet further. In Italy, strong sales of the Nokia Lumia 610, the fourth best selling handset over the past 12 weeks, and the Nokia Lumia 800, the seventh best selling, have helped drive Windows’ share up to 11.7% – the highest across Europe.”

Sales of the iPhone 5 are likely to stay strong well into the new year, and attention will turn to the 2013 World Mobile Congress in February to see what the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony can deliver to help put Android back on top.

– Anthony Carter

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