Apple Surpasses Android To Become Reigning Champion In The U.S. [Report]



Following Apple’s incredible sales numbers from yesterday’s quarterly earnings report, the iPhone has taken the number one spot in U.S. market share from Google’s Android OS, according to the researchers at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. 37 million iPhones were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, making Apple the top smartphone manufacturer on the planet.

Based on the last 12 weeks of sales in 9 countries (including the U.S., U.K., and Australia), the iPhone is growing faster than Android. The tides are turning.

“Apple has continued its strong sales run in the US, UK and Australia over the Christmas period,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldplanel. “Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover.”

Kantar notes that Android is still the dominant smartphone platform worldwide, but Apple’s growth rate now exceeds that of Google’s OS. The iPhone’s market share rose to 44.9% during the last quarter, while Android’s sat at 44.8%. While not exactly a landslide victory percentage-wise, the numbers are definitely a sign that Android is not an unstoppable behemoth.

It’s important to remember that there are hundreds upon hundreds of Android handsets on the market, while Apple only sells three generations of the iPhone. Tim Cook noted during yesterday’s earnings call that the iPhone 4S was Apple’s best-selling handset last quarter. Apple’s carrier partnerships with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have helped the iPhone grow exponentially in the U.S over the last few months.

When asked about the race between the popular smartphone platforms, Cook noted that Android and the iPhone are neck and neck. He said that he couldn’t find any way of accurately measuring Android’s numbers against the “clean” and “crisp” reports that Apple gives, but he did state that, “We’ll ignore how many other horses there are, we just want to be the lead one.”

  • ddevito

    Once again I ask: I thought market share isn’t important?

    I’m happy for Apple and all, but for years Macheads told me market share is irrelevant.

  • Daniel Harris

    I am a huge Apple fan but I’m only going to cautiously celebrate this because it was only for 1 quarter and in that quarter a new version of the iPhone was released. When they can claim they sold the most smartphones of any company over the previous entire year then I will be much more impressed.

  • thenewperson

    …it is.

  • Daniel Harris

    It matters, but it is not the only factor — especially considering that many Samsung phones are made so cheaply and can barely even be considered smartphones.

  • ddevito

    The tides aren’t turning.

    While it was a perfect storm, the 4s gets released (on time) in October, so Apple had 3 months to sell the new iPhone. Sales figures are incredible.

    And despite my love for Android, there weren’t ANY compelling new phones during this time. The Galaxy Nexus wasn’t released until December 15th, which left two measly weeks in the quarter to sell phones.

    Add Verizon’s awful Galaxy Nexus launch and complete lack of advertising (until the last two weeks or so), and there you have it. Only the uber geeks (like yours truly) knew ANYTHING about ANY phone OTHER THAN the iPhone.

    But if Apple waits until the Fall the release iPhone 5 then they will get hit hard once again because the onslaught of new Android (and Windows Phones for that matter) will flood the market.

    The mighty Galaxy SIII looks like it will get a launch in the US earlier this time, and I don’t care if your an Apple fan or not that phone will be a world beater.

    2012 will be a much more interesting year. But Apple did great no doubt.

  • ddevito

    Is it? I think Apple cares this time – and I think it’s fairly obvious with the lawsuits

  • vistarox


  • vistarox

    This is impressive, especially considering that there are millions of potential customers waiting for iPhone 5. 

  • Tony Jones

    All I have to say to you all Android Users is::: “97B in cash” that’s Billion with a capital B. There is no touching that no matter how many phones you sell.

  • thenewperson

    No it isn’t.

  • Len Williams

    “…there weren’t ANY compelling new phones during this time…”
    Aww, isn’t that sad that for a whole quarter of the year NONE of the HUGE number of manufacturers of smartphones, all of which are nearly carbon copies of the iPhone, could come up with “any compelling new phones.” This is pathetic. 

    I’m not saying Android phones are bad. Some of them are OK and quite usable, however, the general public seems to be aware that iPhones give a better and more predictable user experience. If I wasn’t such a tech geek and simply “wanted a phone” I’d probably buy an Android to save myself some money. After all, many Android handsets come FREE with a 1 or 2-year commitment, so we’re really not talking about a level playing field here. Yet, the iPhone is still selling MILLIONS.

    Think of it: The iPhone costs plenty, but despite this, people line up for them, buy them and love them–even though they could get an Android phone for cheap or FREE. It gives me confidence that the average consumer is smarter and more tech savvy than he/she is usually given credit. Of course the naysayers will counter that iPhone buyers are just Applesheep and trying to be cool, hip and with-it–but I’m sorry, people don’t release that amount of cash without knowing what they’re buying, especially when they could get an Android for LOTS cheaper.

  • Len Williams

    You’re right, market share isn’t important. User experience is. BUT, when market share grows like this, and one company grows exponentially in sales over tons of competitors, it’s big news. Compare it to buying a used Chevy instead of a top-end BMW or Mercedes. Just because there are more used Chevy’s on the road doesn’t mean they’re the better car or driving experience.

  • Len Williams

    Ridiculous! The lawsuits are about Apple protecting all the hard work and innovations they’ve pioneered and are finally standing up to the companies who’ve light-fingered their R&D. The only company that stands out in the crowd, strangely enough, is Microsoft with its new WinPhone 8, which is very different from the iOS concept. I’m not a great Microsoft supporter but it’s nice to see them thinking different and not simply copying the general interface pioneered by Apple. Now if Google/Nokia/Samsung/etc. could have come up with something novel, it would have made the smartphone industry much more interesting.

  • Fred Maxwell

    This is all the more amazing when one considers that the Android OS is what almost any consumer who just wants a free-with-contract smart phone gets.  

    Those consumers didn’t choose Android after carefully comparing the OS, multitasking, GUI, and apps.  They went into Best Buy, the T-Mobile store, etc. and asked something like ‘what smartphone can I get free with a contract?’  You think that the average person who walked out with a $0.00 smart phone did so because he’s convinced that it contains the best OS?  Please!

    That’s why it’s so pitiful when the Android fans start cheering when all of the Android phone manufacturers combined manage to outsell Apple in some quarter.  It’s like declaring that, by purchasing $350 laptops that contain AMD CPUs, the public has spoken and declared the technical superiority of AMD’s CPUs.

  • Demonstr8r

    The amazing thing is that the comparisons are of the iPhone versus all Android phones regardless of model and vendor. Stop and think about that for a moment… Apple sells more iPhones than every Android phone from every vendor combined!

  • mlahero

    Why do you care if they have 97B in cash? Doesn’t that just mean that Apple consumers are ripped off? Or that Foxconn employees could be getting paid better?

  • mlahero

    Of course there is a large amount of trend appeal that sells iPhones. A lot of people buy them because they love the hardware, love the software but a lot of people buy them simply because they’re trendy.

    One of the strengths of iOS is that it simply just works, an average iPhone user wouldn’t have a great deal of technical expertise.

    And yes people DO release that amount of cash without knowing what they’re buying. It’s the same mentality that makes students who have little to no money fork out several grand on a MBP only to use it for Word and surfing.

  • Therealestmc

    Bs. Shipping is what matters. I know androids manufacturers shipped more phones than apple.

  • mlahero

    Hmmm have you actually used a modern Android? Sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Gingerbread runs just as nicely as iOS 5. Also your metaphor goes against your own point when you take into account that iPhones are the most popular smartphone.

  • mlahero

    Are you suggesting that Apple never copies?

  • Srose428

    You must think that GM is a good company and the Chevy Volt is brilliant.  
    But seriously 97B in Liquid Assets gives Apple incredible positioning with suppliers, bulk customized equipment purchases, and enough Dolllaaa$$$$ for Johnathan Ives to swim in.  

  • Fred Maxwell

    BS, yourself.  Shipping inventory that’s not selling doesn’t “matter.” Neither does handing a free-after-contract phone to a customer who doesn’t have a clue, or care, about the OS that’s on the phone.  That’s no measure of the OS’s popularity, value, performance, or desirability.

    Don’t you see how totally pathetic your argument is?  Android fans should be horribly embarrassed that adding all of the sales of all of the brands and models of Android phones together doesn’t result in something that dwarfs Apple’s iPhone sales.  It’s like being really psyched that an NBA team was able to score about the same number of points as the one guy they were playing against. 

  • Njideka Okafor

    heheheh…. is that a Pac Man Picture?