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With the iPhone 5 Apple overtakes Android (again) in the US but will it last?

With the iPhone 5 Apple overtakes Android (again) in the US but will it last?
piers.scott@sociable.co'

Apple’s iPhone is again the top smartphone in the US, beating Google back into second place, according to market data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, but the top position is still in play.

Just 1.4% separates Apple from Google in terms of market share and while Google had taken the top spot from Apple a number of months ago, and looked like it was going to stay there, the iPhone 5’s massive sales figures have pushed Apple back on top.  Kantar’s data would seem to back up comScore data from march which said that Apple is the fastest rising smartphone manufacturer in the US.

A close race

Google now holds 46.7% of the US smartphone market while Apple has upped its lead to 48.1%.  According to Kantar’s Global Consumer Insight Director,  Dominic Sunnebo, the last time Apple overtook Google was when the iPhone 4S was released.  It took Google 36 weeks to get in front of Apple – and it might take even longer for Google to do the same this time.

Apple to make history

But that’s not all that Kantar has to say on Apple – it expects that the company will set a new record by controlling nearly half of the US smartphone market in the near future.  Historically, Apple’s highest penetration in the smartphone market stood at 49.1% – with the success of the iPhone 5 Apple could beat this and “achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

Apple’s growth has been helped by Android users’ apparent lack of loyalty to the OS.  Some 13% of Apple’s new users switched from Android and some 6% switched from Blackberry.  Kantar says that very few of Apple’s increased user-base are people that have never previously owned a smartphone.

Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo cites Apple’s strong brand as the reason for their impressive success; “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.”

Android for Europe

Even though Apple is doing well in its home country it’s not faring so well in Europe.  Android holds an impressive lead of 73.9% in Germany (Apple’s share of that market fell by 5.1%) and 81.7% in Spain – and it’s seeing impressive growth in other European countries too.  In the UK, where Android holds 32.7% of the market it is starting to make significant gains on Apple.  In Germany alone Samsung’s Galaxy SIII controls nearly 25% of the market.

It looks like this Christmas will be an important one for the smartphone market leader board.

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piers.scott@sociable.co'
@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

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