Apple iPhone continues lead with 51.2% U.S. market share as Android users increasingly switch to iPhone

iOS continues to lead as the top selling smartphone platform sold in the U.S., with 51.2% of market sales for the 12 week period ending December 23rd, 2012, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Android is in second place with 44.2%, while Windows remained a very distant third with 2.6% of smartphones sold in the U.S. during the period.

Top carrier rankings remain consistent this period, with AT&T Mobility continuing to maintain its lead with 33.3% of smartphones sold in this 12 week period. AT&T has declined slightly, reducing the gap with Verizon Wireless whose share remains stable with 32% of smartphones sold. Sprint remains one of the key carriers offering Apple but is seeing little increase in sales share, as the brand continues to decline this period in third place with 14.8% of smartphone sales.

The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 250,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 12 week period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.

In a statement, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato said, “Apple’s continual improvement is thanks to both the iPhone 5 and older models attracting various customer groups, from repeat Apple buyers, first time smartphone buyers and those coming from other smartphone brands. In particular, 36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year. While this figure remains stable over time, the proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increases. 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011.”

This trend is most evident within Verizon Wireless where half (49%) of iOS sales were derived from users of other smartphone brands, and 30% were derived from Android. These figures are much higher compared to AT&T Mobility where 15% of iPhone purchasers came from other smartphone users (6% from Android).

While for other customer groups, 35% of iOS sales were those upgrading from a previous iPhone and 30% were those upgrading to their first smartphone.

AT&T Mobility continued to utilize their large Apple base with 55% of their iOS sales stemming from these users upgrading to a newer iPhone while 37% of Verizon Wireless’ iOS sales were derived from their large featurephone base.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

MacDailyNews Take: Some might mistakenly settle for a pretend iPhone their first time around, but, if they’re smart enough, they won’t ever settle for a knockoff again.

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    1. Correct, this is only the US, the world’s largest market since china has so may people but very few can afford an Smartphone, besides that, there much more to the company that just the selling of the phone, like selling advertising, apps, accessories and most important, apple is the only company that receives a little percent (I believe it is 10%) of what the users consume in voice and data.
      So YES, it is US, do you know any other market where companies can make as much money as Apple does in the US? (Money, not sells).

    2. On the one hand, yes, only in USA. On the other, USA represents more than one-third of Apple’s current market reach. Developing world is not really a viable market for a strong market share. Not when people have to shell out two monthly salaries for an iPhone; don’t forget, the retail price of $650 in the US is among the lowest out there, and it usually costs much more — up to $1000 for the same model — elsewhere. Meanwhile, a brand new Android device can be had for less than $100. As much as a Kenyan would love an iPhone, he simply cannot afford it. An Android, which he CAN, gives him access to apps, web, Facebook and other mobile stuff.

      In developed markets (Japan, South Korea, EU), there is significantly higher presence, and the situation is quite similar to the US, where in some countries iPhone also dominates.

  1. …and cue the CNBC FUD-fest: regular FUD-masters Gillis and Kass will be propounding about Apple’s steady decline across all fronts. You’d better sell AAPL now because, according to these guys, it’s a goner.

    Gillis, hilariously, acknowledged Verizon “pleasantly surprised” by selling a million more iPhones than expected. But he whined about Apple’s decreasing margins. Nor did he mention that 66% of Verizons activations were iPhones.

  2. Wait soon all will realize the benefits of supporting a product, a company, a culture that stands for goodness, style, class, quality and for what’s right as apprised to products and companies that represent darkness, theft, cheating, destruction… Companies that build so called smartphones while also building nuclear bombs and willfully invade unaware users privacy… Soon Mother Nature will take Her course and set things straight.

    1. Yeah, that makes a no-win situation for Apple shareholders on Wall Street. Apple will be burned no matter which direction they go (at least according to the news media).

      Apple’s internal wealth is increasing constantly while it’s value on Wall Street is constantly shrinking. It would seem that would be an almost impossible situation, but it’s happening. How does a company with $130 billion reserve cash in the bank not even be worth twice the share value of Amazon whose entire market cap is only worth $122 billion? Simple math doesn’t seem to hold water on Wall Street.

  3. 2012 iPhone sales summary per article:

    a) 30% bought iPhone as first smartphone
    b) 36% switched to iPhone from other smartphones
    — Of switchers, 53% switched to iPhone from Android (19%/36% = 53%)
    c) 35% of buyers were previous iPhone owners

    — 49% of iPhone sales (about half) were to people new to smartphones (30%) or switchers from Android (19%)
    — 66% of iPhone sales (two-thirds) were to people new to smartphones (30%) or switchers from Android or any other platform (36%)
    — Only about one-third (35%) were previous iPhone owners


    1. From the original article:
      “36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year. While this figure remains stable over time, the proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increases. 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011.”

      This shows that many Android users are not loyal/committed to their mobile phones or to the ecosphere surrounding them.  Therefore, Samsung’s huge lead in the global smartphone market has only happened in Apple’s absence — which has been largely addressed now that iPhone is available in 100+ countries.  If things play out in foreign markets as they have in the US, Apple will attract large numbers of consumers away from Android devices year in and year out.

  4. 2 in my family have seen the error of their ways. One switched a few months ago from Andriod when the iPhone 5 came out and it was contract renewal time, the other will be in August when the contract runs out.
    Bonus: I get to say “I told you so.”

  5. So MS is now beating RIM?

    Will be interesting to see how the race for 3rd place goes, what with a new system due REal Soon Now from RIM.

    Hey, in the Olympics, 3rd still gets you a medal!

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