Apple beats Android in U.S., but Europe’s a different story

Wall Street may not have been impressed with Apple’s iPhone 5, but consumers were — enough at least to push Apple past Android in U.S. smartphone sales.

According to a new report by consumer research company Kantar Worldpanel, 48.1 percent of smartphones sold in the U.S. between Aug. 5 and Oct. 28 were Apple iOS devices, while 46.7 percent ran on Google’s Android. Android had been in the lead most of the year; the last time Apple was No. 1 was after last year’s release of the iPhone 4S, the company said.

The report predicted Apple would maintain its lead over the next few months, pushing its market penetration past its all-time high of 49.3 percent.

Apple’s success in the U.S. didn’t translate overseas, though. The report found Android handily beating Apple in European markets, especially in Germany (73.9 percent Android) and Spain (81.7 percent Android). That may be because carriers in those countries don’t subsidize their phones as much as they do in the U.S., so consumers gravitate toward cheaper Android devices.

In a separate study, research company IDC said iPhones are rapidly overtaking BlackBerries as the smartphone of choice for businesses and governments, and will likely dominate those markets in the coming years. RIM’s BlackBerry, it said, has good security but little consumer appeal. Android devices have consumer appeal but less security. IPhones, however, have good security and good appeal. Those qualities — as well as the British government’s recent certification of Apple devices, which will likely influence other governments — may help Apple get back in the game in Europe.




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  • Is it really fair to compare Apple against Android? Because you’re talking manufacturer’s share, really, not OS share — shouldn’t it be Apple vs. Samsung, or vs. Motorola, etc. If you talk about market share per manufacturer, Apple is the clear winner in the smartphone market. Lumping all the other manufacturers who use Android together in one bucket is not a true picture of the marketplace.

    • Mike Murphy

      Actually this study was OS share, so it was iOS vs. Android. Since Apple is the only one making iOS devices, and a ton of manufacturers make Android devices, it pretty much is Apple vs. everyone else.

  • sd

    It’s like OS X vs Windows market share. Apple is the only game in town for OS X. I find the comparison kind of amusing — partially because so long as Apple has *enough* market share, it’s an academic exercise. And, in the case of PC OSes, I think if one were to subtract products like Windows-based POS systems and the standard PC desktop/laptop (not something anyone aspires to), Apple’s share of the market is surprisingly high.