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Apple pulls just ahead of Google in U.S. smartphones

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Apple (s aapl) blew away observers and analysts on Tuesday with record earnings that included 37 million iPhone sold, which helps explain why research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Wednesday that Apple’s U.S. smartphone market share now exceeds that of Android (s goog) devices.

Demand for the iPhone 4S helped Apple’s U.S. share of the smartphone market climb to 44.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011, Kantar said, doubling from the same period a year ago and gaining a very slight edge over Google’s platform. Android slipped to 44.8 percent from 50 percent during the quarter.

Apple’s success isn’t isolated to the U.S., either. Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar’s global consumer insight director told Reuters, (s tri) “overall, Apple sales are now growing faster than Android across the nine countries we cover,” which include the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil and Mexico, among others.

Other research firms have recently released data suggesting that iOS was rapidly closing the distance with its Android smartphone rivals. The NPD Group and Nielsen (s nlsn) both released their own studies earlier this month that showed iOS trailing Android slightly in the U.S. smartphone race, but Kantar’s is the first to put Apple on top.

In the U.K., Apple grew its share from 34 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 22 percent for the same period in 2010. And while Apple grew most quickly in the countries covered, Kantar is quick to point out smartphones are experiencing strong growth in all the areas tested, meaning while Android may have dropped market share in some locations, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a drop in sales.

9 Responses to “Apple pulls just ahead of Google in U.S. smartphones”

  1. What everyone does not take into consideration Is Apple beats out all Android Devices! we are not saying the iphone beats out one manufacturer or model.. What apple Is doing Is beating out the whole bunce combined! There will never come a day where anyone can say one specific phone beats out apples Iphone….

  2. Well done apple, but i think its a product cycle issue. I.e. This is pushed by launch of new os, and 4s.
    But once google launches its new update as well ( 4.0, aka icecream sandwitch) it will regain leadership. Specially that apple still have a limitation regarding the device shape that might not be suitable for all users while google offers its os in variable shapes and sizes.
    Bottom line, apple: enjoy ur success while it lasts cause it wont last long :)

    Sent from android :p

  3. Its just fluff numbers, apple is started those sales because of Sprint. For Sprint to get the iPhone 4 and 4s, Apple demanded that Sprint purchased almost double the amount of iPhone that Verizon sold in two years. Sprint reported that they well not make any money off the iPhone for a couple if years because of the sheer size of the order.

  4. Kobe Wild

    Apple got a great lead in the phone space because all other phones sucked when the iphone came out.
    You had the palm phone, it was large and clunkie.
    You had the blackberry… Which was high cost to buy and high cost to own. Blackberry cellular bills were on average $200 to $300 a month.
    Then there was the razr.. it was a pile of crap, it ran windows CE and had the battery life sucks and the main Idea of
    having a cellphone was to make phoen call’s which it failed at.
    moto said it would play music. ha!
    they said you could websurf.. (ha!) * you could if you wanted to go broke.
    They say you could download and play games. ( I never got that “feture” to work.
    Then there was the $900 you could not find it to buy it if you wanted it nokia smart phone.

    Then apple showed up, with a cheap data plans.
    a screen you could read in the daylight.
    Features you could access without reading a manual for 3 hours.
    That’s what made the iphone number 1.
    but now.. other’s have learned from Apples win in the phone market. People want a phone that works, people what to not go broke using that phone and people want phone features not crapware added to there phones.
    There now are a lot more choice’s than just the iphone.
    and being that Android os is currently being used by 75% of
    cellphone manufacturer. Android will win just by simple unit population.

    • Martin Hill

      You don’t seem to understand Kobe, Android has its growth spurt last year growing 367% while the iPhone’s share shrank 14%.

      This year up till Oct the iPhone’s marketshare grew by 38% while Android plunged to only 28% growth according to NPD. And ht was before the full surge of the Christmas quarter and full availability of the iPhone 4S.

      Now we a getting the data from Kantar that he iPhone i towing faster thn that and has now pipped Android.

      What this shows is that the masses of Android manufacturers aren’t winning against Apple after all. Now that Apple is more comparable to Android in distribution, given the choice users will choose Apple the majority of times (55% of Verizon sales were the iPhonefor example)

  5. People are finding more and more reason not to trust “free” stuff companies such as Google and Facebook. With good reason. So long as Apple respects its cusomer’s privacy they will do well.

  6. Google will keep losing, now that iPhone is on ATT, Sprint, and Verizon. When Verizon got the 4 last year, it was already an old phone. Head to head iPhone wins. A choice between Android and iPhone with similar price points — consumers will choose iPhone.