iOS Takes Back Seat to Android in U.S. Market

Apple’s iOS sales are slipping in the United States, and it doesn’t look good for future investments.

According to a market research report by Kantar Worldpanel, Apple was outpaced in smartphone sales by its top competitor Google in the last three months of 2012. Google reeled in 49.4 percent of the market share with its onslaught of competitive carrier discounts. In fact, Google tallied a 6.4 percent year-over-year gain and now has a clear 4.0 percent lead in the U.S. market. 

Earlier this year, Apple had been thriving in the domestic market due to the successful release of the iPhone 5 and carried a 3 to 5 percent lead on its competitors. But since Google teamed with Sprint to release a thrifty $99 Galaxy S III (which claimed 39 percent of all Sprint devices sold), it saw a drastic uptick in sales over its Silicon Valley rival.

Kantar research attributed the rise in Google sales to the Android, which sold 71.9 percent of the Sprint’s total — a decisive 20.6 percent increase from its previous three-month mark. And it was clear that the percentage hike was due to the fact that Android was doling out cheaper smartphones.

Before November, the average price-per-iOS and Android were similar, with the iOS landing at a $130 price tag while Android came in at $127. A month later, Android reduced its price level to $95, while the iOS price jumped to $140 per unit.

Samsung Electronics also contributed to the rise of Android. The South Korea-based company contributed more than 60 percent of Sprint’s sales this period. The Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S3 was the biggest winner among U.S. consumers, representing 39 percent of all Sprint sales.

While it’s the first lead Android has had over Apple in quite some time, many suspect it could be a turning of the guard. With Samsung expected to roll out the widely anticipated Galaxy S4 in March, Apple could be in for another poor sales period.


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