Earlier this week, it was reported that Android sales in the US have declined, letting iOS regain the top spot for the October-December quarter.
Based on the latest research from Kantar Wordpanel ComTech, iOS now garners 48.1 percent of the smartphone market share in the US, followed by Android at 46.7 percent. Apple’s iOS saw an increase of 25.7 percent on the same period last year, while its competing mobile platform went down 16.6 percent.
However, figures from Kantar Wordpanel ComTech contradict comScore MobiLens’ recent survey. According to the firm, Android has dominated 53.6 percent of the market while Apple goes in second with 34.3 percent.
Although both surveys relied on user interviews, Kantar’s research includes the month of October in their tabulation. This month is significant since it is when sales on iPhone 5 took off after it was released last September. According to Kantar Wordpanel ComTech’s analyst Mary-Ann Parlato:
Our research shows that the majority of Apple’s sales, 62 percent, came from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device. Additionally, of the smartphones sold by AT&T during this period, iOS accounted for two out of every three.
Effect of iPhone Sales to US Network Carriers
With the help of iPhone 5 sales, AT&T was able to regain its spot as the top-selling smartphone carrier during the last quarter of 2012. Being able to sell 34.7 percent of the iPhone units in the US, the carrier was able to outdone Verizon that takes 27.5 percent of the market. Sprint and T-Mobile follows the list at 19.9 percent and 8.4 percent respectively.
AT&T has seen the most significant growth in smartphone sales with 8.4 percent, while T-Mobile has seen the largest decline at 5.4 percent. This is not surprising at all since T-Mobile is the only carrier that doesn’t sell iPhone units.
Kantal also added that the sales of lower-priced iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S can be attributed to AT&T recent success. As of the moment, the carrier sells iPhone 4 for free with a two-year contract, while iPhone 4S costs $99 with a two-year contract. Parlato added:
It’s not surprising to see the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S benefiting from the release of the iPhone 5. At AT&T, 38.3 percent of feature phone customers who changed device in the last three months, changed to an iPhone, a figure higher compared to Android at 11.9 percent. So while the iPhone 5 has seen movement amongst current Apple users, there is also now greater availability for the first time smartphone buyers to join the Apple user base.