Rumors of Apple’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated in the US

Released on Tuesday, the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show that Apple is far from the sickly company that is getting eaten alive by Android. For the 12 weeks ended December 23, 2012, the Apple iPhone represented 51.2% of smartphones purchased in the U.S. That was up sharply from last year’s 44.9% share which had given iOS the slimmest of leads over the 44.8% controlled by Android.

Apple’s gain was actually Android’s loss as Google’s open source OS accounted for 44.4% of the U.S. smartphone market in 2012, down .4 percentage points from last year’s figure. Also in decline was BlackBerry which controlled a miniscule 1.1% of the U.S. smartphone market in 2012, down sharply from the 6.1% the Canadian firm owned in 2011. Windows Phone saw an increase from 2.2% to 2.6% over the year.

19% of U.S. iOS sales in the period came from Android owners, up from 9% in 2011 and indicative of a subtle shift in the market. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Verizon where 49% of iOS sales came from users of another platform, 30% of them coming from Android. 58.8% of Verizon customers were iOS users in the 2012 period, up sharply from 47.4% in last year. Verizon’s Android users dropped from a leading 47.5% in 2011 to 38.5% in the last weeks of 2012.

Ironically, only 6% of AT&T’s customers switched from Android to iOS in the 12 weeks. On the nation’s second largest carrier, iOS accounted for 74.7 percent compared to last year’s 66.7 percent. Android users dropped to 19.6 percent of the carrier’s customers in 2012 from 22.5 percent last year. Meanwhile, 35% of all iOS sales during the three months came from those upgrading from another Apple iPhone model. That number came in at 55% for AT&T customers and 37% at Verizon.

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