Apple iPhone Surpasses Android in U.S. Sales for October

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Apple's iPhone sales surpassed Android sales for the first time in years in the U.S. market during October, according to a report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The research firm said that Apple claimed 48.1 percent of all smartphone sales in the U.S. during October, topping Android's 46.7 percent share.

“The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods," Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in a statement. "This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

The report also covered Europe, where Apple showed gains in Great Britain (32.7 percent), France (17.9 percent), Italy (19 percent), and Spain (4 percent), but lost share in Germany (17 percent). Combined, those five markets saw iPhone claim 21.2 percent of the market, a slight increase over the year before, with Android taking 63.9 percent.

Research In Motion (5.3 percent), Windows Phone (4.7 percent), Symbian (2.8 percent), and Samsung's Bada (1.7 percent) fought it out for the rest. In the U.S., Windows Phone took 2.7 percent, RIM took 1.6 percent, and Symbian somehow took 0.3 percent share.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Chart

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Chart

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech also said that 62 percent of Apple's iPhone sales went to existing customers, while 13 percent were switching from Android. 6 percent were switching from RIM's BlackBerry, and a small number of customers were new to smartphones.

According to Mr. Sunnebo, “Apple has always managed to maintain loyalty levels far above the competition, and this has clearly played a part in driving sales of its new device. An impressive 92% of existing Apple owners in the US said they will choose an iPhone the next time they upgrade. While loyalty is clearly key, it is also important to make sure that new customers are attracted to your brand. With roughly 60% of US iPhone 5 sales coming from existing customers and 40% from new consumers, Apple is achieving this at the moment – a clear sign of the strength of the brand in the US marketplace.”

Kantar measured sales in "urban China" for the first time in this report, showing Apple with 19.7 percent share and Android with 67.5 percent share. This is the fastest growing smartphone market on the planet, and is thus a hot topic for market watchers of all sorts.

In Australia, Apple lost share to claim 29.4 percent of the market.

It remains to be seen how IDC and Gartner will report their numbers.

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It's our custom to point out that there are many different ways to market share, and those different ways have different meaning to different constituencies. Sales of new devices matter to Wall Street analysts looking to figure out how industry profits will break and which companies in the respective supply chains are benefitting, etc.

Subscriber share, which comScore follows in the U.S., matters most to those interesting in carrier business. Apple's subscriber share is usually higher than Apple's share of new sales because its devices tend to stay in use longer, but the number of watchers paying attention to this metric isn't all that large.

There is also the share of industry or hardware profits, which Apple and Samsung own at this point. After market, we have things such as share of Internet traffic, or share of devices from which people shop.

You can also look at the number of apps downloaded, the number of paid apps, the number of ads served, or the dollars paid out to developers, and any number of other metrics.

Apple leads in many of these metrics, but it hasn't led in market share for sales of new devices in the U.S. for a long time. It would appear that those who (once again) predicted the imminent demise, inevitable fall, and eventual decline of Apple or its iPhone line have once again missed the boat.

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Sorry Bryan, but I have to post this.  It’s a wonderful day - the day Bosco admits he was wrong on January 31, 2011.  A promise is a promise after all.  You probably would know best, but I suspect this would be the first time he actually admits he was wrong.

Bosco’s postings exactly 666 days ago (Wow, that is one scary coincidence, and very ironic):

“Humor me a minute. What if the market is actually making a fairly rational
decision to reject Apple’s command and control model? See, I think it is
because the shift in the market tracks closely with my own awakening on the
openness thing in smart phones. But if Android falters, as you’d all like,
I’ll take a look and figure out why that is, and adjust accordingly. At
what point will any of you be willing to admit that the market as a whole
just doesn’t like what Apple is selling? That the early success of the
iPhone was due to early adopters willing to sustain Apple’s margins and
turn over control of their phones to the all-knowing Apple?

I don’t think any of you are stupid. I do think that many of you live
sheltered technological lives and I know you pay a premium for doing so.
Which is your prerogative of course. I’m not judging. I’m just here to
tell you why most people aren’t going along that path.”

And then, his second post (with the promise to admit he was wrong):

“More projecting. I won’t have to use any excuse, but if Apple comes back
and dominates the smart phone market, I’ll admit I was wrong. But it’s not
happening, which is why it’s so much fun watching you guys all try to
explain why Apple continues to win by being less relevant!

The fun part is that we’ll be doing this all over again in a year for the
declining and mostly irrelevant iPad, and you’ll all be explaining why that
isn’t like the iPhone, which isn’t like the 1992 Mac, etc.”

So, in the month of October Apple dominated the U.S. smart phone market.  But he’s been pretty quiet lately, so I don’t expect a response.  Oh well.


Just a quick note, Ron—you need two points to make a line.

Let’s see November’s numbers.


Very true statement, Peter.  Two points do make a line.  But the ‘point’ I am making here is what Bosco’s intent was in his posts now approaching 2 years ago (for some fun reading, take a look here if the link is allowed:

His position was basically that Apple was doomed, iPhone was going to drop to the 10% range of US market share, and that all iDevices were soon to be irrelevant, including the iPad.  In his insulting manner, Bosco has been preaching the Apple death knell for years, whether be stock prices or market share or whatever, and has been pretty mean about it along the way.  He can’t/won’t admit he was wrong, and just buries his head in the sand whenever someone quotes his past remarks.  But he said he would admit he was wrong if Apple ever (even for 1 month) fought its way back from 10% US market share to ‘dominate’ (i.e. >50%) again.  So I am hoping he man’s up and keeps his word, as the upstanding TMO citizen that he is.  But I’m not holding my breath.

Ironically, he also posted in the same time frame a comment: “@RonMacGuy: Notice that I’ve never told you to ‘eff off’. You might call it the Mubarak Rule… Be kind to those with whom you disagree when you are on top, because they will savage you given the opportunity.”

And just a few weeks ago, he basically did just that.  Twice.  Funny how times (and people) change.

Again, I apologize Bryan.  If Bosco does respond, I promise that i will be civil to him.  But again, he needs to be held accountable for his past remarks, especially given how insulting he has been.

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