Apple Gains Market Share Thanks to iPhone 5s, 5c But Android Maintains Leads

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The eternal war for market share between Android, iOS, and Windows Phone carries on, with today’s status report coming courtesy of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The market research firm has pulled together its latest findings regarding which smartphone OSes ruled which sectors for the three months ended October 31, and the results show Google holding steady at the top of the pack.

Officially, Kantar claims that Android held 52.6 percent of US smartphone sales share for the period, representing a nearly 5 percent increase over its share at this point last year. The figures are more impressive for Google when you consider that it held off a late charge from Apple and its much-anticipated iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which launched in late September.

As for Apple, Kantar says the Cupertino clan pulled out a 40.8 percent US sales share for the period, which is a 6.4 percent decrease year-over-year. Kantar analyst Dominic Sunnebo doesn’t find this to be evidence of Apple trailing off, though; instead, he finds it to be a natural result of the company releasing more iterative devices.

“In almost all markets, the iPhone 5s and 5c releases have given iOS a significant bounce compared to the previous month,” Sunnebo writes. “Generally, Apple’s share of the market still remains lower than when the iPhone 5 was released, although this is not wholly unexpected as shoppers tend to react more positively to ‘full’ releases than incremental improvements such as the 5s and 5c.”

The new iPhones have actually helped Apple take a dominant lead in nations like Japan, where it controlled 61.1 percent of the market over the 12 week period. And although Kantar doesn’t note whether or not it’s the more popular of the two new phones, the 5c does appear to be bringing a wider market to the iPhone brand — the firm says that “almost half” of iPhone 5c owners switched from rival smartphone OEMs like Samsung, whereas the vast majority of iPhone 5s buyers upgraded from an older iPhone.

But across the major European nations, Android is still far and away the OS of choice. There, Kantar says it holds a whopping 70.9% percent of smartphone sales share, which is a 6.4 percent increase year-over-year. That’s well ahead of iOS’ 15.8 percent share and Windows Phone’s 10.2 percent share.

“Wait,” some of you might be thinking, “Windows Phone got 10.2 percent of the major European market” That seems like a pretty big step up.” Indeed it is, keen observer. Kantar says that’s a 5.8 percent increase year-over-year, with much of Microsoft’s growth due to the success of low-end devices like Nokia’s Lumia 520 and Lumia 620. In the US, Windows Phone sat at 4.8 percent market share, which was a 2.3 percent increase year-over-year. It may be in a distinct third place, but the race for world smartphone domination does appear to be tightening up, if only ever so slightly.




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