Photo: Kim Bhasin / Business Insider
Apple is leading the U.S. smartphone market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s data.The iPhone accounted for 53.3 per cent of smartphone purchases during the twelve week period ended November 25. That’s up from just 35.8 per cent a year ago. Android, on the other hand, is down to 41.9 per cent from 52.8 per cent a year ago.
In Europe, it’s not as great for Apple. It’s getting pummelled by Android which has 61 per cent of the market to the iPhone’s 25.3 per cent.
So, what’s happening in the U.S.? We spoke with Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato. Basically, she says now that the iPhone is available for free with a contract on Verizon and AT&T, consumers are picking iPhone over Android more than in the past. Both Android and iPhone are growing, it just so happens the iPhone is taking share in the U.S. right now.
Photo: Kantar Worldpanel
This is a good and bad sign for Apple. It’s good in that it shows consumers aren’t bored with iOS. When given the chance, they pick iOS. But it’s bad because Apple’s brand and, more importantly for investors, its margins are supposed to be a premium over the competition. If Apple has to compete on price to maintain marketshare, then it’s going to cause its profits to weaken.Kantar’s data comes from a continuous panel of 20,000 consumers. It interviews the same 20,000 people each month to see what smartphones they’re buying. About 10 per cent of people polled bought a new smartphone. The data on iPhone purchases is forward looking because it’s accounting for new sales in their panel.
Other firms collect data differently. comScore, for instance, interviews 30,000 different people each month for its data, which is less forward looking because it gives you an idea of install base. comScore’s data says Apple is getting trounced by Android with just 35 per cent iPhone market share to Android at 53.7 per cent.
In theory, over time comScore’s data should end up looking like Kantar’s.
Apple is particularly strong right now in the U.S. because it just released the iPhone 5. Every time there’s a big new phone release, Parlato says we see a bump in that company’s sales. So, when Samsung launches a new Galaxy phone, she expects a bump for Android in the U.S.
That said, even if Android gets a bump, it would probably put Apple about even with Android in the U.S. Earlier today we looked at Apple’s own stats about the App Store in comparison to what Google says about Android activations. Looking at that data also suggests iOS (not just iPhones) are about even with Android.
Considering the story for the last few years has been that Android is walloping iOS and Apple needs to respond, it’s interesting to see that Apple has been able to compete without having to deviate from its strategy.