While the last quarter set a horse race in the smartphone market with a host of new products, Apple’s iPhone has managed to retain its lead in the U.S. market. A recent report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Apple’s smartphone platform won a little over half the U.S. market towards the close of 2012.
Kantar says that higher sales of the iPhone at AT&T and Verizon Wireless contributed to the higher share of iOS in the U.S. market in Q4 2012. Windows Phone has impacted European markets to a noticeable extent. The market share of Windows phone increased from 2.8 percent to 5.9 percent in the U.K., and from 2.8 percent to 13.9 percent in Italy. Nokia’s Lumia series of Windows phones took over 20 percent of the market in Finland.
The findings in Kantar’s report are backed by Verizon’s data as well. Verizon’s Q4 2012 earnings show that it sold 9.8 million smartphones during that quarter, of which 6.3 million were iPhones. Those statistics are amazing. And, it’s even more surprising to note that the new iPhone 5 accounted for only half the number of iPhone sales. Verizon also says that iOS activations during Q4 2012 were twice the number of activations of Android, Windows and BlackBerry put together.
Apple has been favored by brand loyalty to some extent. It seems that over 90 percent of iPhone owners prefer to buy another iPhone. This loyalty is likely to carry through to future sales.
Kantar observes that Android is the top OS in the global picture at the close of 2012. That position is attributed to the surge in the number of first-time smartphone buyers. Android’s global performance overwhelms both Windows Phone and iOS, a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.