Study: iOS set to win share as smartphones surge

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Apple is set to reap the benefits of increased consumer interest in smartphones, according to a new study by market research firm Yankee Group. A survey of 15,000 U.S. shoppers found that Apple and Google will dominate, with Apple’s winning back share of the smartphone market over the next six months.

It is a trend that already appears to be in motion: Ryan Kim wrote about how, according to the latest NPD numbers, Apple’s iOS mobile platform made big strides in closing the gap between itself and Android in recent months. The Yankee Group survey anticipates that this will continue: While a quarter of those it surveyed already own an iPhone, 35 percent said they planned on getting one within six months’ time. The Yankee Group’s study echoes results from ChangeWave that we wrote about earlier, but it covers a wider user base, time period and focus on platforms instead of individual handset makers.

Android is and will remain strong in terms of consumer interest, according to the survey, but it won’t put any more distance between it and Apple. Nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated that they already own an Android device, but just the same amount said they planned on getting one within the next six months; in other words, Android won’t drop share to Apple if people stay true to their buying plans, but it won’t expand its current reach in the U.S.

The real losers, however, are the smartphone platforms that account for less than 20 percent of today’s market share, since, according to the survey, their percentage will only continue to slide. Yankee Group predicts that only 12 percent of respondents intend to buy a BlackBerry in the next six months, despite that 20 percent of those surveyed already own one. Interest in Windows Phone devices similarly drops from a current high of 14 percent to only 9 percent’s intending to purchase one within six months’ time. Of course, this is based on consumer perception of the field as it stands: New devices, changes to software and pricing could always alter buying plans.

Overall, Yankee Group predicts that smartphone ownership should increase, since only 47 percent of those polled currently own one but 58 percent indicated intent to purchase one within the next six months. Yankee Group expects the smartphone market to surge to 175 million devices in the U.S. by 2015, up from 91.4 million as of Nov. 2011.

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