As the smartphone race heats up with the arrival of the iPhone 5, the fight for first is commonly ranked in terms of operating system market share, with Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS taking the top spots in the U.S. However, a new study breaks those numbers down by carriers, finding which networks boast the most Android and iOS users.
Predictably, iPhone activations are highest at AT&T, an understandable finding considering the carrier was Apple's original iPhone partner, giving the network an early chance to build the allegiance of iOS subscribers. As expected, Verizon holds the highest rate of Android activations. Customers signing up with Google's operating system exceed those opting for the Apple smartphone by a fair bit at Sprint. While T-Mobile supports the iPhone, but doesn't offer the device, therefore Android-enabled devices counted for most of the carrier's smartphone activations.
The findings come from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which surveyed consumers who activated smartphones between June and August 2012 to determine the operating system of choice for the nation's four largest carriers.
Results by Carrier
For AT&T, the iPhone accounts for more than half of its activations, with Android making up about a third, followed by a very small number of BlackBerrys and basic phones. At Verizon, Android handsets account for about half of its service agreements, and iPhones about a quarter, although the carrier also activates a surprising amount of basic phones compared to its competitors.
The results don't really come as a surprise, as AT&T had a roughly four-year advantage over Big Red and other U.S. rivals to build-up its iPhone following, while Verizon has been incessant in its push of Android handsets since the Motorola Droid first came on the scene in 2009.
As Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS dominate the market, with each holding 52% and 33% of the market share, respectively, according to the latest metrics from comScore, Research in Motion's BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows interface have failed to find a following among consumers. The study found that across all four carriers, basic mobile phone activations far exceed those of smartphones running the those two struggling mobile operating systems, with feature phones accounting for 17% of activations compared to BlackBerry's 4% and Windows' 1%.
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