Apple Passes the Crown Back To Android

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has released its latest figures on the domestic smartphone market, and the data show that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has passed the U.S. crown back to Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android for the three months ending in January.

The shift comes shortly after Apple grabbed the top domestic spot heading during the tail end of 2012 thanks to strength from the iPhone 5 launch. It's a close race, but Android has now pulled ahead by a few percentage points. The figures also show that for the time being, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) is making progress in grabbing the No. 3 spot from BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) .

U.S. Smartphone Platform

12 Weeks Ended Dec. 23, 2012

3 Months Ending January 2013

iOS

51.2%

45.9%

Android

44.2%

49.4%

BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion)

1.1%

0.9%

Windows

2.6%

3.2%

Source: Kantar Worldpanel Comtech.

During the holiday quarter, Apple was able to enjoy strong smartphone share at both Verizon and AT&T, but the iPhone gave up some ground at Ma Bell, which has long been predominantly an iPhone carrier. Android gained at Apple's expense on the second largest-domestic wireless carrier.

BlackBerry's launch of its new operating system platform occurred at the end of January and was initially rolled out to only the U.K. and Canada, so the company's modest market share decline in the U.S. is entirely expected since the Z10 cannot be had stateside quite yet. In the meantime, Microsoft is beginning to see some success, thanks in large part to Nokia's Lumia lineup that's starting to shine. The software giant is also expanding its smartphone hardware partnerships by tapping HTC and Samsung for new Windows Phone 8 devices.

What hasn't changed much is that combined, iOS and Android still own the market. Their combined share hardly flinched, declining from 95.4% to 95.3%. That domination corresponds with the broader picture worldwide, where IDC separately estimates that iOS and Android now power 91.1% of all devices sold globally. That's one thing that's not changing anytime soon.

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  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2013, at 1:32 AM, HiramWalker wrote:

    The apple figures to December were provided by Apple. The January numbers are pure fiction, guesses or wishful fabrication.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2013, at 9:29 AM, st0815 wrote:

    It hardly matters whether iOS or Android is ahead in the US by a few points, given that global market share of Android is 70% and of iOS 21%.

    That's not a close race by any measure.

    And with 3% market share MS is not the "third platform". Maybe that works out arithmetically if a few tricks are pulled, but the term implies that there was some sort of roughly comparable size - and that's severely misleading. Even if the number were checking out (and that's doubtful) a rise of 0.6% is still pathetic.

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