Android rules US smartphone sales in early 2013, Verizon prevails in carrier battle

April 1, 2013
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Android-Army

There’s no slowing down the Android juggernaut, no matter the number of the opposing forces (or the magnitude of their efforts), which is once again proven by data released earlier today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Kantar’s report, compiled after interviews with hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users in the US, shows a 5.8% increase in Android smartphone sales over the last year. Our favorite OS’ market share sits at a comfortable 51.2% right now, compared with 45.4% back in February 2012.

The numbers are based solely on sales conducted in the three-month period between December 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013, so the actual market share figures for active devices could be and probably are significantly different.

Unlike the three months leading to February 2012, Android dominated iOS in sales (51.2% vs. 43.5%, compared with 45.4% vs. 47%). Call us fanboys, but we have to celebrate this turning of the tables considering the US has always been favorable ground for Apple and because the iPhone 5 is a lot newer than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Because of these two reasons, it would be reasonable to think that iOS sales are still stronger than Android. But it’s not the case, if the data is to believed.

smartphone sales

The distant number three in smartphone sales is Windows, whose 4.1% share is up 1.4 points compared with last year. RIM (or BlackBerry) is close to not being even a blip on the radar anymore, with 0.7%, while Symbian is fortunate to hold a 0.1% share.

Naturally, Samsung is the Android leader, although for some reason Kantar hasn’t published the exact sales numbers by phone manufacturer. Instead, we know that 52% of Sammy buyers over the last year have chosen the GS3, 21% have gone for an S2, while only 5% have picked the Note 2.

The market research firm’s latest survey sheds some light on another ongoing high-stakes battle – that of carrier supremacy. Verizon continues to hold the top spot here, with one in three smartphones sold in America between December 2012 and February 2013 activated on Big Red.

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That’s a 35% share, down 1.1%, but enough to keep AT&T (26.7%) at bay. The bronze medalist, Sprint, has managed to boost sales year-on-year with over two points (15%, compared with 12.9%), while T-Mobile has seen a more timid 0.5% increase (9.8%, from 9.3%).

It’s important to keep these numbers in the back of our minds for the next few months, because market shares could be considerably shaken up by T-Mobile’s new “Uncarrier” strategy. Or will they?

In any case, let’s give Android and Samsung (okay, Verizon, too) a big round of applause they deserve for the grip they continue to hold over the competition. Whether you like it or not, they’re the big kahunas and they deserve the laurels to go with it.

Any thoughts, dear reader? Going prepaid? Staying with one of the big three? Samsung vs everyone vs Apple? Sound off below!

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