Android may be the favorite globally, but nationally, the iPhone wins the popularity contest.
In the first three days after the iPhone 5's launch, Apple sold more than four million units. This early success for the iPhone 5 smartphone has helped Apple to overtake Google's Android software in the United States, according to Kantar WorldPanel ComTech. Yahoo Finance reported that Apple's U.S. share of smartphone sales in the 12 weeks to October 31 more than doubled from a year ago to 48.1 percent, putting it within reach of the record 49.3 percent it managed in early 2012.
"The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the U.S. was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods," Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar, said in a statement. "This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3 percent and achieve its highest-ever share of the U.S. smartphone market within the next two periods."
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Apple's Android-based competitor is Samsung and its Galaxy S III. In the beginning of November, Samsung revealed that it had sold over 30 million units since the device went on sale in May. Analysts approved of Samsung's timing of the release, which took place before Apple's iPhone 5 made its debut.
"An impressive 92 percent of existing Apple owners in the U.S. said they will choose an iPhone the next time they upgrade. While loyalty is key, it is also important to make sure that new customers are attracted to your brand," said Sunnebo.
Samsung sales had grown by 173 percent year-over-year while Apple's increased 27.5 percent but declined sequentially. Analysts said, "The decline is not unusual as iPhone shipment volume is highest in the first two quarters after its release. The company's once-a-year release cycle usually results in two quarters of lower volumes leading up to the next-generation model introduction."
Android's share dropped to 46.7 percent from 63.3 percent, according to Kantar, but it dominates in European markets. The platform claimed 74 percent market share in Germany and 82 percent in Spain. Android's combined share of the top five European markets rose to 64 percent, from 51 percent a year earlier, while Apple's share increased one percent to 21 percent.
In Germany, RIM’s share rose 0.9 percentage points to 2.5 percent. RIM's stock fell 5.9 percent to C$11.20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but the shares which increased last week on optimism around RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices, were up more than 15 percent from last Monday.
"With roughly 60 percent of U.S. iPhone 5 sales coming from existing customers and 40 percent from new customers," Sunnebo continued. "Apple is achieving this at the moment—a clear sign of the strength of the brand in the U.S. marketplace."
Edited by Jamie Epstein