By Daniel Hunter
For the 3 month period ending July 2013, Android maintained its lead of smartphone sales, capturing 51.1% of the smartphone market, but saw a decline of 7.6% year on year.
iOS, meanwhile, grew 7.8% versus the same period a year ago, capturing 43.4% of smartphone sales, according to data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
For the period, little movement was seen among the other operating systems in the market. Windows grew half a percentage point to 3.5% of sales, while BlackBerry continued to decline, down 0.7%, to just 1.2%.
As with the previous period, Verizon retained its lead as the top carrier with 36.9% of sales, and growth of 4.1% over the 3 months ending July 2012. AT&T and Sprint follow with a 25.4% and 12.6% share, respectively, with both carriers seeing declines versus last year. T-Mobile remained static in 4th place (11%).
The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 240,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone.
ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.
“Android’s decline in sales is due to its decreasing share of first-time smartphone buyers, a key consumer group in the US, as over half of the market still own a featurephone," Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo stated.
"Between July 2011 and July 2012, 52% of customers that bought an Android device previously owned a featurephone. Over this past year, that number has declined to 46%."
iOS, on the other hand, has maintained its share of first-time smartphone buyers over two years (43%). The iPhone 4 in particular, has seen its share of purchases among first-time buyers increase, from 9% in July 2012 to 15% in July 2013- making it the top model among this consumer group.
First-time smartphone buyers tend to be older (65% are over 35 years of age), and skew more female (56%). iOS, over the past year, has been better a capturing this group than Android, with their lower priced, widely available, older iPhone models.
“However, with Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, we may see a larger proportion of consumers choosing a Windows device over iOS or Android, replicating the strength seen in Europe and Mexico (where lower priced Nokia handsets now represent about one in ten of every smartphone sold).
"Windows has shown, in the past, particular strength among first-time smartphone buyers, and Nokia has benefited the most from the OS growth thus far. Nokia, as a brand, still represents 7% of the featurephone market, and it is likely that many of these consumers will upgrade in the coming year.”
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