Google’s (GOOG) Android is still the leading smartphone platform in the United States by a huge margin, but that margin narrowed a bit in the second quarter according to a new report. Market research firm Strategy Analytics on Monday issued its smartphone shipment estimates for the second-quarter of 2012, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the market as a whole.
According to the firm’s data, U.S. smartphone shipments fell 5% annually to 24 million units in the second quarter, with Android smartphones responsible for the bulk of the decline. Among the likely cases for the decline, Strategy Analytics lists “a volatile economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and major operators tightening their upgrade policies to enhance profits.”
Sales of Android smartphones into U.S. distribution channels fell to 13.4 million units in the second quarter this year from 15.3 million units in the same quarter last year. Android’s share of the U.S. market slid to 56% from 61% as a result.
During the same period, Apple’s (AAPL) share of the U.S. smartphone channels sales shot up to 33% from 23% a year earlier, an annual growth rate of 43%. Apple shipped an estimated 7.9 million iPhones in the U.S. during the second quarter this year compared to 5.9 million units in the second quarter of 2011 according to Strategy Analytics.
“We estimate Android shipped 13.4 million smartphones for 56 percent share of the United States market in the second quarter of 2012,” said Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawtson. “This was down from 15.3 million units shipped and 61 percent share a year earlier. Android remains the number one platform by volume in the United States, but its market share is approaching a peak and Apple iOS has been gaining ground. Apple’s US market share has risen by ten points from 23 percent in Q2 2011 to 33 percent in Q2 2012. Apple is rumored to be launching a new iPhone in the coming weeks, and that event, if it takes place, is going to heap even more pressure on Android in its home market.”
Finally, the firm notes that shipments of BlackBerry smartphones sank to 1.6 million units last quarter compared to 2.7 million in the June quarter last year.