Soaring iPhone 5 sales have knocked Google's Android into second place in the United States, research firm Kantar WorldPanel said on Tuesday.
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that strong uptake of the iPhone 5 over the past 12 weeks has boosted iOS back to the number one spot in the US. It now has a 48.1% share of US smartphone sales compared with Android which has 46.7%. the research firm says.
The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, predicts that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.
However, Apple's rise in the US has not been replicated in quite the same way across Europe where Android still takes the lead, accounting for 73.9% of sales in Germany and 81.7% in Spain, Kantar WorldPanel found. Apple is now enjoying share gains in four of the five major European countries with a particularly strong performance in Britain where it holds a 32.7% share.
Sunnebo continues: "Germany remains a tough market for Apple with its share falling by 5.1 percentage points over the past year. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has taken almost a quarter of the country?s smartphone sales over the past 12 weeks to boost Android yet further. In Italy, strong sales of the Nokia Lumia 610, the fourth best selling handset over the past 12 weeks, and the Nokia Lumia 800, the seventh best selling, have helped drive Windows' share up to 11.7% - the highest across Europe."
The majority of US iPhone 5 sales, 62%, have come from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device, although Apple has also benefitted from people switching from Android devices (13%), people switching from BlackBerry devices (6%) and a small number of first time smartphone owners.
One of the key physical changes on the iPhone 5 was the inclusion of a bigger 4" screen and 4G/LTE capability, both of which appear to have had a big impact on the ways consumers are using their devices compared to previous models.