Following the successful launch of the iPhone 5, sales of iOS devices have overtaken Android in the U.S., according to Kantar Worldpanel. The research firm found that in the past 12 weeks, sales of Apple (AAPL) smartphones accounted for 48.1% of the market compared to Android’s 46.7% share. Apple loyalty remains high as the majority of iPhone 5 sales, 62%, came from existing iPhone owners while 13% switched from Android, 6% from BlackBerry devices and only a “small number of first time smartphone owners” bought iPhone 5 handsets. An impressive 92% of existing iPhone owners, additionally, noted that their next upgrade will be an Apple device.
“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,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel. “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 Cupertino-based company hasn’t fared as well in Europe, however, where sales of Android devices continue to outpace iOS. Apple’s smartphones only account for 21% of sales across Europe, compared to Android’s 64% share.
“Germany remains a tough market for Apple with its share falling by 5.1 percentage points over the past year. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has taken almost a quarter of the country’s smartphone sales over the past 12 weeks to boost Android yet further,” Sunnebo said. “In Italy, strong sales of the Nokia Lumia 610, the fourth best selling handset over the past 12 weeks, and the Nokia Lumia 800, the seventh best selling, have helped drive Windows’ share up to 11.7% – the highest across Europe.”