Android leads OS U.S. sales, as LG and Nokia see resurgence
In the 3 months ending November 2013, Android maintained its lead of smartphone sales on the U.S., capturing 50.3% of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 43.1% of smartphone sales, an increase month on month, however, down 9.9% versus the same period a year ago, according to data on the U.S. market released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Windows Phone, the third largest OS in the U.S, sold nearly 5% of smartphones in the 3 months ending November 2013, up 2.1% points from the previous year.
As with the previous period, Verizon maintained its lead as the top smartphone carrier, with just under a third of sales (31.7%). AT&T, in second, had 28.3% of smartphone sales in the 3 months ending November 2013. T-Mobile, overtaking Sprint as the third largest carrier had 13.3% of sales, and was the only major carrier to see growth year on year (up 6.3%).
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.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo states, “The iPhone 5S and 5C were the two bestselling smartphones in the U.S for the 3 months ending November 2013. However, increased rivalry from Android brands and a resurgence of LG and Nokia, has made year-on-year share gains for Apple difficult. This is especially true on T-Mobile.”
On T-Mobile, the ‘UNcarrier’ strategy, launched earlier in 2013, has been successful because it has attracted first-time smartphone buyers, looking to upgrade to their first smartphone. Among T-Mobile smartphone buyers in November 2013, 55% of those that purchased an LG and Nokia smartphone were first-time smartphone buyers, compared to just 39% of Apple customers.
Sunnebo continues, “First-time smartphone buyers remain a key demographic for carriers and brand alike. The lower end iPhone 5C represents an opportunity for Apple to attract these customers. Thus far the majority of 5C customers have come from other smartphone platforms, though if historical trends hold, the lower end model (historically the older iPhone model following the release of a new iPhone), should be able to attract this demographic with its lower price and comparable specs.”
Apple sales grow month on month, however progress is slow