Apple's iOS retains top spot in US with over 51% share of smartphone OS sales for Q4 2012

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Accounting for over a 51% share of all smartphone OS sales in the U.S., Apple's iOS continues to be the market leader as existing customers move away from rival platforms like Android and RIM, or upgrade older iPhones to new models.

Overall
Source: Kantar Worldpanel


According to data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech on Tuesday, iOS accounted for 51.2 percent of all U.S. smartphone OS sales for the 12-week period ending on Dec. 23, 2012, up over 7 percent from 44.9 percent in 2011. The market research group conducts more than 250,000 interviews per year in the U.S. to track mobile phone purchasing behavior, associated bills and other metrics.

Apple's increased performance appears to be somewhat at the cost of Android as Google's mobile OS marketshare declined from 44.8 percent in quarter four 2011 to 44.2 percent over the same period in 2012. The biggest contraction in marketshare was felt by beleaguered BlackBerry maker RIM, which suffered a drop from 6.1 percent of smartphone sales in the last quarter of 2011 to 1.1 percent during the same period in 2012.

?In particular, 36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year," said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato. "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."

In a breakdown of carrier share, the trend toward iOS is most apparent with Verizon where 49 percent of iPhone sales were derived from users of other smartphone brands, with 30 percent being former Android owners. Overall, during the 12 weeks leading up to Dec. 23, the percent of iOS users on Verizon's network hit 58.8 percent, a huge jump from the 47.4 percent seen in the year ago quarter. Android, which led iOS last year with 47.5 percent, fell to 38.5 percent for the closing weeks of 2012.

AT&T saw less erosion to its Android market with only 6 percent of iPhone purchasers switching from Google's OS. Overall, iOS share was up to 74.7 percent compared to last year's 66.7 percent, while Android dropped to 19.6 percent from 22.5 percent year-to-year.

Carrier


iPhone upgraders accounted for 35 percent of iOS sales over the three-month period. AT&T was able to rely on its massive installed Apple user base to pull in 55 percent of new iOS sales from existing iPhone owners. Customers upgrading to a new Apple handset accounted for 37 percent of Verizon iOS sales for the quarter.

For quarter four, AT&T sold the most smartphones, capturing 33.3 percent of the market and was followed closely by Verizon's 32 percent share. Sprint came in a distant third with 14.8 percent of all smartphone sales.

According to the research firm, Apple's strategy of releasing yearly iPhone revamps alongside price cuts to previous generation handsets is effectively extending the company's reach into low-tier markets.

Recent reports claim that Apple is looking to be more proactive in targeting budget-conscious smartphone buyers, and will release a more affordable iPhone sometime this year. While still a rumor, some analysts believe the unannounced device will boast a design similar to the current iPhone 5, but will reduce costs by replacing expensive aluminum and glass parts with polycarbonate and plastic.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91


    Wonder when they'll start calling iOS something other than just a smartphone OS.


     


    Yeah, it outsold everything else; no one wants any tablet but an iPad.

  • Reply 2 of 91


    Looks like iOS gained marketshare at the expense of RIM, not Android.  Apple gained 6.3%.  Android lost 0.6%.  RIM lost 5%.

  • Reply 3 of 91

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


    Looks like iOS gained marketshare at the expense of RIM, not Android.  Apple gained 6.3%.  Android lost 0.6%.  RIM lost 5%.



     


    Exactly what I was going to say. This was a loss for RIM, not Android.

  • Reply 4 of 91

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Wonder when they'll start calling iOS something other than just a smartphone OS.


     


    Yeah, it outsold everything else; no one wants any tablet but an iPad.



     


    We're discussing phones, Skil, not tablets. And the sales numbers for the Kindle Fire were pretty strong for a tablet no one wants.

  • Reply 5 of 91
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    I guess a 4 inch screen WAS the sweet spot and there ISN'T a mass exodus because Apple doesn't offer 5 inch screens.

    I mean I'm open to Apple expanding the iPhone lineup but let's not get asinine and think Apple NEEDS to for their survival.

    They're doing just fine. If they expanded the iPhone brand it would be to provide a new unique experience for customers not because the competition is eating their lunch.
  • Reply 6 of 91


    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

    We're discussing phones, Skil, not tablets.


     


    Nope. Read it again. The article specifically mentions "smartphone OS" every time it needs said. That means ALL iOS, not just phones.

  • Reply 7 of 91
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    cash907 wrote: »
    We're discussing phones, Skil, not tablets. And the sales numbers for the Kindle Fire were pretty strong for a tablet no one wants.

    And yet the iPad still had majority market share globally.

    Anyway the kindle hurt the Nexus and other Android tablets more than the iPad (same story as last year pretty much)
  • Reply 8 of 91
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) I would expect a drop for AT&T but surprised this is showing such good numbers for AT&T.

    2) It's interesting that Other is on the rise. I wonder if that is a result for MVNOs and regional carriers that Apple has teamed up with in the past year.

    3) Glad to see Win Phone on the rise which does mean a pretty sold jump in unit sales due to the smartphone market growth.

    4) I'm surprised that Android would be falling with Apple just making stale, overpriced phones¡

    cash907 wrote: »
    Exactly what I was going to say. This was a loss for RIM, not Android.

    It clearly shows a loss for Android so you can't say that it was all gained at the expense of RiM. Also note that we're talking about percentages here, not unit numbers.
  • Reply 9 of 91
    Note this is a slight drop from 53% that iOS reached last month

    I'm surprised it was not higher, given iOS share at AT&T is 74% and 58% at Verizon. I bet it is close to 50% at Sprint. It must be T-Mobile and the per-pay market bringing the overall share number down
  • Reply 10 of 91
    Nope. Read it again. The article specifically mentions "smartphone OS" every time it needs said. That means ALL iOS, not just phones.
    That's not the way I read it. I think they are specifically calling it smartphone OS to indicate it doesn't include tablets. The article is speaking of cell phone activations and upgrades specifically. Just my interpretation though.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Nope. Read it again. The article specifically mentions "smartphone OS" every time it needs said. That means ALL iOS, not just phones.

    If they said only iOS I'd agree with you but the article's specific use of smartphone OS and the stats from MNOs makes it sound very smartphone focused. I'd wager they grabbed data based on HW sales and then figured out which OS goes with which HW product. Easy in Apple's case.
  • Reply 12 of 91


    Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

    I think they are specifically calling it smartphone OS to indicate it doesn't include tablets.


     


    Hmm. That could be it. Been up for too long. 


     


    Well, someone's goin' to jail, then. Or not; they've been lying for years without recourse of any sort, what's a few more quarters of "sales"…

  • Reply 13 of 91

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    It clearly shows a loss for Android so you can't say that it was all gained at the expense of RiM. Also note that we're talking about percentages here, not unit numbers.


    Obviously Android did lose ground, but the article implies that Apple's gain was more or less Android's loss when in fact Apple's gain was more or less RIM's loss.

  • Reply 14 of 91

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


     


    We're discussing phones, Skil, not tablets. And the sales numbers for the Kindle Fire were pretty strong for a tablet no one wants.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Nope. Read it again. The article specifically mentions "smartphone OS" every time it needs said. That means ALL iOS, not just phones.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post





    That's not the way I read it. I think they are specifically calling it smartphone OS to indicate it doesn't include tablets. The article is speaking of cell phone activations and upgrades specifically. Just my interpretation though.


     


    That's not the way I read it either. 


     


    At first I thought it included tablet figures, also, because TS said so....and as we all know....TS is ALWAYS right¡


     


     


    These are smartphone share numbers.....nothing else.

  • Reply 15 of 91
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


    Looks like iOS gained marketshare at the expense of RIM, not Android.  Apple gained 6.3%.  Android lost 0.6%.  RIM lost 5%.



    not sure I would agree with that statement.  Look at the details for Verizon.  The ~10% increase for iOS devices at Verizon appears to have come as a result of ~10% decrease from Android. 

  • Reply 16 of 91
    If you assumed 50% share at Sprint, iOS would have to be nearly 0% at T-Mobile and 'Other' to get to this 50% share number

    T-Mobile has 2MM iPhone users on their network via BYOD. Not sure how that is tracked here. If Apple takes 50% share at T-Mobile when it goes on sale later this year, it will add another 4% to Apple's total US market share

    Overall, very impressive. Apple likely accounts for 80% of US revenues and 90% of profits. Meanwhile, Google has not earned a dime from Android
  • Reply 17 of 91
    normmnormm Posts: 544member
    Nope. Read it again. The article specifically mentions "smartphone OS" every time it needs said. That means ALL iOS, not just phones.

    No, the Kantar website makes it clear that their statistics discussed here only relate to phones.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member


    looks like Android is loosing ground to iPhone both at AT&T and Verizon (more so here). I bet Sprint looks similar.   So why is Android not loosing total market share? I would venture that difference is made up at the "Other" carriers.   Im gonna speculate, which is worth nothing,  that more experienced smart phone customers switch from Android to iPhone when it comes time to upgrade.  I have no way to prove this; but AT&T, Verizon and likely Sprint numbers seem to support my theory.

  • Reply 19 of 91


    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

    Meanwhile, Google has not earned a dime from Android


     


    Not sure about that.






    Originally Posted by NormM View Post

    No, the Kantar website makes it clear that their statistics discussed here only relate to phones.


     



    Yeah, it's too late here. Thanks. image


     


    Someone better go to jail.

  • Reply 20 of 91
    archarch Posts: 66member


    Jan 22: Verizon Earnings


    Jan 23 Apple Earnings


    Jan 24 ATT Earnings


     


    I will rather wait for the real figures than pay attention to some analysts estimates.

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