The good news for Apple keeps on coming: New figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show that for the first time since 2012, iPhones are outselling Android mobile devices in the United States.
As reported by TechCrunch, it underscores just how successful the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been for Apple. The Cupertino company has enjoyed record-breaking success off of the larger-screen smartphone, including the most profitable quarter of any company ever.
Apple’s position at the luxury end of the market has harmed higher-end Android manufacturers like Samsung, which has seen its profits crater as a result of Apple’s success. But Kantar’s data shows that Apple is also doing extremely well in terms of broader market share.
IPhone devices made up 47.7% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with 47.6% from Android. It is, as Kantar chief of research Carolina Milanesi notes, “the slimmest 0.1% margin.”
But even accounting for margin of error, it underscores Apple’s win: Data from Kantar a year ago pegged Apple’s sales at 43.1% of the market, against Android’s 50.3%. This rise is down to Apple’s “strongest portfolio ever,” Milanesi says, which capitalised on a “weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.”
Overall, the iPhone is the best-selling smartphone in the US, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Google’s operating system has a far stronger user base in Europe, but even there it has taken a hit — dropping 3.8 percentage points to 66.1% over 2014, while iOS grew by 6.2 points.
China is an increasingly important market for Apple. Over 2014 its share there grew from 19% to 21.5% — and with the company in the middle of an aggressive expansion in the country, its market share is likely to continue to grow markedly over 2015. Significantly, Apple is managing to attract a growing number of first-time smartphone purchasers, a valuable audience in emerging markets. In China, almost a quarter of iPhone customers were first-time buyers, up from 16.5% the previous year.
Here’s an interactive graphic from Kantar showing how the smartphone OS market share has evolved over time:
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