Apple Is Closing Its U.S. Market Share Gap With Android

The iPhone 5 has boosted iOS market share in the U.S., as it slowly closes the gap with still-dominant Android. Interestingly, many of the gains for iOS were among first-time smartphone buyers. 

According to the latest comScore numbers, Apple’s iOS operating system had a 39% market share in the U.S. at the end up April, up from 31% a year ago.

Apple’s market share was 34% at the time of the iPhone 5’s release, in September.

Android has stagnated at a 52% market share, up only slightly from 51% a year ago. It’s actually down a percentage point since the release of the iPhone 5.

However, this does not mean that Android is shedding users. Given the overall growth of the smartphone market, it has added 9 million users in the U.S. since September. But Apple has added 13 million.

The bulk of iOS user growth appears to be coming from consumers buying their first smartphones. According to data from Kantar, 31% of U.S. consumers who bought an iPhone in the three months ending in April were first-time smartphone owners. Another 38% were current iOS users and only 20% were switching from an Android devices. That goes against conventional wisdom, which usually holds that Android is for first-timers.

Windows Phone, meanwhile, can’t seem to get traction in the U.S., an clocked in with a market share of 3%, virtually unchanged since the introduction of Windows Phone 8 in late October. It did enjoy a net increase 300,000 U.S. users since October, but that’s not exactly an earth-shattering growth spurt.

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U.S. smartphone

Overall, U.S. smartphone penetration stood at 58%, up from 46% a year ago.

Although smartphone penetration growth ticked up slightly in the first quarter, we expect it to slow as underpenetrated demographics becoming increasingly older and less-wealthy. 

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U.S. penetration

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