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Apple Reportedly Retakes U.S. Smartphone Sales Lead from Android on iPhone 5 Strength

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel shares its latest data on U.S. smartphone sales, calculating that a strong debut from the iPhone 5 has enabled Apple to retake the lead from Android in the race for the top platform. The report pegs Apple's share of the market during the August-October period at 48.1%, compared to 46.7% for Android.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “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. 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.”


Apple has, however, found stiffer competition from Android internationally, with Android holding 60-80% share in most other markets tracked by Kantar Worldpanel. Notable areas of weakness for Apple include Brazil (0.4%) and Spain (4.0%), but the company continues to perform fairly well in countries such as the the United Kingdom (32.7%) and Australia (29.4%).

The firm's surveys of U.S. iPhone customers finds a healthy 60/40 balance between upgrade buyers and new users, suggesting that Apple is continuing to see loyal customers while also attracting new users with the iPhone 5. According to the report, 92% of current Apple users indicate that they will purchase an iPhone as their next phone.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago

I live in the UK and a lot of people here are ditching the iphone as the screen is way to small, im sure its only a few but the screen issue is becoming a fact of life.


How is it too small? I remember people bitching it was too big in 2007. It's a phone, get a tablet if you want a big screen IMO.
Rating: 53 Votes
27 months ago
iPhone screen is the perfect size, IMO. I wish premium Android and Windows 8 phones would have the same sized screen. Most of them are too big for me to use with 1 hand.
Rating: 30 Votes
27 months ago

I live in the UK and a lot of people here are ditching the iphone as the screen is way to small, im sure its only a few but the screen issue is becoming a fact of life.


I prefer to have something fit in my pocket. I do find it ironic how many Europeans complain about America's oversized waistlines, cars, homes, and televisions, yet you posted this.
Rating: 23 Votes
27 months ago
The mirroring of the two lines is pretty fascinating. They really are fighting over the same people now.

Gone are the days when they could both gain customers away from dumb-phones and both grow at ridiculous rates. Nope, now a sale for you is literally a customer stolen from the other guy.
Rating: 21 Votes
27 months ago
I have nothing against two strong contenders! Of course, they will overtake one another every now and then.

I think that are 4 categories for Android and iOS:
1) Those who prefer iOS
2) Those who prefer Android
3) Those who despise iOS/Apple
4) Those who despise Android/Google

To each his own... Although those in #3 and #4 should get a life...

At this point, RIM and MS should just be included in "others". On the other hand, I welcome them for trying.
Rating: 21 Votes
27 months ago
This graph seems wrong...I'm pretty sure RIM has a negative share at this point.
Rating: 19 Votes
27 months ago
I live in the UK and a lot of people here are ditching the iphone as the screen is way to small, im sure its only a few but the screen issue is becoming a fact of life.
Rating: 16 Votes
27 months ago

Fantastic! If this trend continues, Android should be extinct within 2-3 years. The iPhone 5 is not only the best phone but probably the best *thing* that has ever been invented.

I actually feel pretty sorry for people who buy Android phones. Often they're tricked into it by pushy sales staff, or they're just seriously deluded people who believe that their phone is better.



LOL. As a developer that works on both iOS and Android all I can do is laugh at people like you when I visit this forum (surely you're not serious)? It's a matter of user preference, iOS is easier to use and more intuitive however Android blows iOS away when it comes to actual features/customization. I have an iPhone 5 that I develop on and and love, it's a great phone. But I personally prefer my Nexus 4 for daily use and in my opinion it's definitely the best phone I've ever owned. As I type it's sitting on a starbucks counter wirelessly charging. I love NFC and use it almost daily to pay for stuff (and can't wait for peer-to-peer payments via NFC in the next google wallet update.). Google Maps with navigation on android is far more useful than apple maps. I love android's multitasking and how it actually shows window previews that slide away slickly if I want to close them. The newer google voice search is far more accurate/responsive than Siri. The screen looks better than the iPhone 5 (text is much crisper and easier to read). And my favorite, Google Now gives me useful information without any input from me (ex. when a package i've ordered has been shipped, when my stocks have moved, when i'm near a popular photo spot, etc...).

At the end of the day it's about personal preference. I think the iPhone 5 is a fantastic designed phone, but I personally find iOS too watered-down/limiting for my needs. My wife prefers iOS cause it's easier to use. I love apple's design and hardware but I think iOS needs a new haul ... it just feels kind of old.
Rating: 13 Votes
27 months ago

How is it too small? I remember people bitching it was too big in 2007. It's a phone, get a tablet if you want a big screen IMO.


If it was just a phone, then we could go back to the old 176x220 dumbphone black and white screens.

However, it's not just a phone:

(It's) three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; and a breakthrough Internet communications device.

An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.

An iPod, a phone … are you getting it?


- Steve Jobs


The "widescreen iPod" and "Internet communicator" parts work really well with larger screens :)

Defending the current screen size is a poor longterm idea anyway. People tried it before the screen got simply stretched and they turned out wrong. People also claimed the iPad Mini would never happen, and they were wrong. It's quite likely that Apple will eventually increase the iPhone screen size even more.
Rating: 12 Votes
27 months ago

Its just to small for a business user and most people I know are business users, maybe its fine for you and for most, I'm just saying for a lot of web surfing its just a bit small.

So the business users you know are surfing the web?
Rating: 11 Votes

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