In The US, Apple Grows At Android's Expense, Even Before The Launch Of New IPhones

In the three months through August, Apple gained 1.5 percentage points of smartphone market share to reach about 40.7% of the U.S. market, according to new comScore data.

A strong performance during the northern hemisphere summer is good news for Apple, especially when considering that this gain was achieved ahead of the release of the new iPhone 5S and 5C models. Sales of these new models are expected to bolster Apple’s growth, but their impact won’t be felt until the fourth quarter of 2013.

For the period in question, though, most of Apple’s U.S. growth can be attributed to residual sales of the existing iPhone 5, 4S, and 4 models. The 4S and 4 was priced aggressively by most U.S. wireless carriers after the release of the 5 — the 4S could be had for $US99 on a 2-year contract, while the iPhone 4 was free.

Android, meanwhile, lost 0.8% percentage points of market share during the period, falling to 51.6% market share.

Android still holds the top spot in the U.S. market. However, in June, we pointed out that Android may have lost U.S. users for the first time (without losing market share), because of how slowly the U.S. handset market was growing. In other words, Android saw market share peel off, even as the overall pool of smartphone owners grew only marginally larger. That actually translated to a net loss of Android users.

Luckily for Android, U.S. smartphone penetration ticked up significantly in the three months through August to nearly 61%, or about 145 million people. Thus, Android’s U.S. user base grew from an estimated 73.9 million to about 74.8 million, despite simultaneously ceding 0.8 percentage points of market share to Apple.

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