It appears that Apple’s growth in the American smartphone market cannot be stopped. Even amid the rise of Android and Windows Phone in emerging markets, Apple has still found a way to keep growing its market share in the United States. According to the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, Apple has managed to increase its market share to 43.4% of sales in the U.S. despite having not released a new phone for an entire year.
Countless smartphones have been released since the iPhone 5 began shipping last September, including the very positively reviewed Galaxy S4. So why haven’t any of these alternative operating systems, larger screens, and powerful processors taken a bite out of Apple’s share of the pie?
First of all, Kantar says that the iPhone 4 continues to sell well despite its age, especially “among first time smartphone owners.” iPhones have also seen international growth in Britain, France and Mexico. Finally, Kantar reports that only 27% of Apple and Android users switch to a new OS when buying a new phone. Those who do switch typically move from Apple to Android, or vice versa.
“Apple and Android must focus on a balance between retaining existing customers and attracting feature phone owners to trade up if they want to continue their success over the next year,” says Dominic Sunnebo, an analyst at Kantar Worldpanel.
Considering new smartphone buyers’ attraction to the affordable iPhone 4, Apple might be getting that balance just right later this month with the release of the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. Buyers will no longer be confronted with the choice of either spending several hundred dollars for a new Apple device or saving cash on an old one. Retention might have just gotten a whole lot easier for the iOS family.