Apple’s iOS market share up 3.5% in U.S. after T-Mobile USA’s iPhone deal

While smartphone sales overall have remained relatively stable in the 3 months ending May 2013, compared to the same period last year, iOS has grown, with a 3.5% increase during that time.

Consequently, with Android remaining unchanged (+0.1%) to date this year, the gap between the two leading operating systems has decreased, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Through the 3 month period ending May 2013, Android remains stuck at 52%. Close behind is Apple’s growing iOS, now with 41.9% of sales. Windows remains in third with 4.6% of sales, up 0.9% versus the same period last year.

Little movement is seen within the carriers, with Verizon leading smartphone sales at 34.6%, AT&T in second at 29%, and Sprint in third with 12.7%. Most notably, T-Mobile remains in fourth place with 10.1% of smartphone sales, down 3.4% versus the 3 months ending May 2012.

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 240,000 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 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement, “The highly anticipated release of the iPhone on T-Mobile has benefited iOS in the latest 3 month period, though it has not yet impacted T-Mobile’s share in the market.”

For the three months ending May 2013, the iPhone 5 was the best-selling smartphone at T-Mobile, despite the fact that it came out in the middle of the sales period in April. And iPhone sales accounted for 31% of T-Mobile’s smartphone sales over this period. While this is comparatively lower than AT&T (iOS accounting for 60.5% of AT&T sales) and Verizon (43.8%), a full quarter’s worth of purchasing next month may impact T-Mobile’s overall sales share.

Sunnebo stated, “iOS’ strength on T-Mobile appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a featurephone. Of T-Mobile consumers who bought an iOS device since it launched on the carrier, 53% had previously owned a featurephone, well above the market average of 45% of iOS owners who previously owned a featurephone. Furthermore, of T-Mobile customers planning to change device within the coming year, 28% plan to upgrade to an iPhone for their next device.”

It remains to be seen whether the strength of iOS on T-Mobile can help reverse T-Mobile’s decline, but the upcoming months will be of key importance for both players, particularly to see whether these consumers do follow through with their intentions.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech


  1. Using the logic behind the previous media pronouncements…

    Android is doomed! They need a major course correction or they will not be able to compete. Is this the end of Android? Have they fallen from their loft perch? What’s wrong at Google?

    (sarcasm abounds!)

    1. You’ll never hear those questions asked CNBC. It doesn’t entail, Apple/iPhone losing share, whatever, it isn’t reported in the media.

      1. I’m reticent to suggest this in public where CNBC, et al, can take my idea and run with it, but how about:

        “Beleaguered Apple’s (AAPL:$-2.37) iPhone market share plunge might be less than market leading innovator Samsung’s new and improved Galaxy S4.”

        I suppose others will make it more dramatic.

  2. T-mobile’s new plans offer by far the best deal of all four for the iPhone across the board, and for couples and families, the deals becomes even better. Only the cheap prepaid carriers may offer better plans, but none are offering loans for the device (you have to fork over $650 to get one).

    The only problem I have noticed with this new deal from T-Mobile is that there is now an increasing number of people who are learning the true price of their iPhone. A good friend of mine, who is well-educated and intelligent, was shocked, and not the least bit uneasy, to fork over $650 for the iPhone on T-Mobile, even if it is spread over 24 months. For her, an iPhone user since 3G, the price was always $200 at the most (her first iPhone was on a Dutch carrier, in the Netherlands, and she got it for free with a two-year plan). While she was fully aware that there was a subsidy, there never was an actual high number; all she knew was $200 (or “free”). And now, it turns out that the phone costs almost like here MBA (MacBook Air)!

    The point is, she is now much more cautious where she leaves it, she is constantly thinking about this expensive device that is in her purse, and is always a bit uneasy when holding it out in public. Even with millions of other people around her doing exactly that (significantly diminishing chances of someone actually stealing it from her), she still feels uncomfortable, now that she knows it is worth $650 (rather than $200 or less).

    I’m curious, how many other people on T-Mobile now feel the same.

  3. I hope tmobile doesn’t treat all iPhone buyers like they did me. I got a phone on a month to month plan. It didn’t have good service. They repaired a bad tower but at the end of thirty days I gave up and returned the phone. I got a return UPS lable and returned the phone inside the 30 day remorse period. They have treated me worse than any company I have ever delt with. I was buying the phone. They are charging me for equipment and two a fraction months of service for the 30 days I had it. I waited 45 days for a refund of the iPhone. I have be asked to leave a tmobile store because I couldn’t get a copy of my bill. Three months now and I finally got a bill for month two. Nearly $200 for 30 days of poor to no service!

  4. I just finished an experiment today, switching back to AT&T after switching to T-Mobile for 4 days (at the end of a 2 year contract on a iPhone 4). Their online coverage map is not very accurate according to the T-Mobile rep at the store. He has a better one, and I am at the edge of their coverage. The issues were many. First off, an AT&T iPhone can only get 3G, not 4G on T-Mobile’s network. I was not told this until after I’d switched my number and waited 48 hours for a connection to their network. AT&T unlocked the phone about 2 months ago, and I switched the SIM card on Friday. T-Mobile told me I’d receive a text message when the switch was finished. I never got a message. Finally, yesterday, I took the phone in to a T-Mobile store and the guy there connected it to iTunes and reset it and voila, it was connected to their tower. It took hours on the phone with 5 different T-Mobile representatives (different departments, no cross department knowledge) before the suggestion was that I take the phone to a store and ask them to switch the SIM card. Turned out that wasn’t necessary at all. So, anyway, I got the phone home and found that I had no coverage from inside my house. Outside was okay. I work from home. Not very convenient. Then I finally ran the numbers. With two iPhones on Shared Data plan at AT&T, (32GB) cost $598, 1GB data shared, price $130. At T-Mobile, 2 devices cost $1498, 500MB each, price $80/mo. A difference of $50/mo. Over 2 years, that’s $1200. But I pay $900 more for the phones with T-Mobile. So, the savings is down to $300. Over 24 months, that’s $12.50/mo. Not really worth having no reception at home to save $12.50/mo. I don’t know why Predrag says the deal is so much better at T-Mobile for couples and families. I don’t see it. So, 4 days to switch to T-Mobile (and several phone calls and a visit to their store). One phone call to AT&T and 15 minutes to switch back. No comparison.

    1. I’m not sure I understand your math; it looks like T-Mobile is a better deal by $12.50 per month for two people, and even more so for more people (when single line is $10 more).

      Let us not forget; T-Mobile gives you UNLIMITED data. AT&T gives you a bucket of data.

      When you use up your 4G limit on T-Mobile, the speed drops down to EDGE, but you can use as much data as you want. When you use up your bucket of data on AT&T, you pay steep overages for every MB extra you use up.

      The main point in the end is, none of the savings will matter if the network coverage doesn’t work for you.

      I migrated four lines from various carriers (AT&T, Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile prepaid) into T-Mobile on the new plans. I was without phone service for no longer than two hours, with one 10-minute phone call to T-Mobile.

      Apparently, experiences can vary.

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