iOS Steals Major Smartphone Share from Android in U.S.

For U.S. smartphone sales in Oct/Nov 2011, Apple’s iOS stole significant marketshare from Android, surging from 26 percent to 43 percent, according to NPD data released Monday. This was at the expense of Android which slipped from 60 percent in Q3 to 47 percent. The gain was primarily due to to the Apple’s lineup of iPhones for the holidays.

NPD data

“Apple and Android distanced themselves from the competition in 2011, turning the OS battle into a 2-horse race,” NPD reported.

The results were disclosed in an NPD report obtained by The Mac Observer. The gains were made thanks to Apple’s iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and, incredibly, the iPhone 3GS finishing in the top three of sales for the period.

NPD Data-2

No detailed explanation for the popularity of the Apple products was provided, but it could be due to several factors: the popularity of Siri, fears of Android malware, the desire to give the best product as a gift at Christmas, and the fact that the iPhone 4 and 3GS subsidized prices (US$99 and free, respectively) made them attractive to price conscious American buyers, especially parents, during the holidays.

What will be interesting now is to see if Apple can maintain that momentum in the U.S. or whether Android will spring back next quarter. Finally, despite all the positive press, Windows Phone 7 is going nowhere in this market. And RIM? The chart above shows the direction RIM is headed over the long term.