With strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, Apple’s iOS has overtaken Android in the US, according to sales data from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
“In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin,” reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.”
The company said that Apple’s share of the market is now at 47.7 percent. The research show that Apple is not only appealing to existing customers-it is also converting Android users: 12% of iPhone buyers during Q4 2014 were former Android users. iPhones are also attracting first-time smartphone buyers as 27.7% of iPhone sales in Q4 went to previous featurephone owners.
The research company noted that Apple sales grew in the US, Europe and China. More specifically, across Europe, Android’s share declined by 3.8 percentage points year-on-year to 66.1% while iOS rose by 6.2 percentage points. Great Britain had the biggest impact on the decline as iOS grew its share of sales by 13.1 percentage points compared to this time last year with Samsung, LG and Sony all losing market share both year over year and over the previous quarter.
Customer loyalty for Apple during the period was at 87 percent, while Samsung’s—the strongest in the Android ecosystem—was down at 62 percent.
Apple products also topped the gifting market for the 2014 holidays. iPhones represented 57 percent of all smartphones given as gifts while iPads made up 33.7 percent of all gifted tablets. The iPhone 6 was the single most gifted smartphone while the iPad Air was the most gifted tablet.