Strong iPhone sales have driven iOS back to the top spot in the US smartphone market in the 12 weeks to 28 October, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Apple’s operating system took a 48.1 percent share of US smartphone sales in the period, ahead of Android with 46.7 percent. Apple previously overtook Android in the US when it released its iPhone 4S and iOS retained its lead for three consecutive quarters. Kantar now expects iOS to beat its previous record of 49.3 percent within the next two periods.
Some 62 percent of US iPhone 5 sales came from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device, 13 percent from people switching from Android and 6 percent from BlackBerry handsets. Apple customer loyalty has always been far above the competition, and 92 percent of Apple owners said they would choose an iPhone for their next upgrade, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo.
In Europe, Android kept its lead over iOS in the 12 weeks to 28 October, taking 73.9 percent of smartphone sales in Germany and 81.7 percent in Spain. Yet Apple increased its share in four of Europe’s five biggest markets, with a strong rise in the UK, where it took a 32.7 percent share. Germany is still a tough market for Apple where iOS sales fell by 5.1 percentage points over a year. Samsung Galaxy S3 sales accounted for nearly a quarter of Germany’s smartphone sales in the last period. Italy saw strong sales of the Nokia Lumia 610 and Lumia 800, driving Windows’ share to 11.7 percent, the highest in Europe.
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