Apple secures majority of US smartphone market, Samsung dominates Europe

Apple secures majority of US smartphone market, Samsung dominates Europe

Summary: According to new research, the iPad and iPhone maker has managed to secure over 50 percent of the American smartphone market, whereas Samsung is still top dog in Europe.


Apple has managed to secure over 50 percent of the American smartphone market but Samsung remains strong in Europe, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The research firm says that the iPad and iPhone marker is taking back marketshare from rival Google's Android, managing to grab 53.3 percent of U.S. smartphone sales for the four-month period ending November 25.

Kantar says that this is mainly due to the release of the iPhone 5, which helped boost sales in the United States. During this timeframe, Android's share of the market fell 10.9 percent to 41.9 percent of overall sales, whereas Microsoft's Windows Phone managed to climb 0.6 percent to secure 2.7 percent. Research In Motion claimed only 1.4 percent of the market.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented:

"Apple has reached a major milestone in the U.S. by passing the 50 percent share mark for the first time, with further gains expected to be made during December."

Where Apple's popularity continues to climb in the U.S., the Android operating system still appears to be the firm favorite in Europe. According to the firm, Android currently possesses 61 percent of the European market, up from 51.8 percent a year ago.

comparison apple samsung android osx smartphone marketshare america europe
A side-by-side comparison of smartphone marketshare in Britain and the United States.

The popularity of the Android OS in Europe is placed at rival firm Samsung's feet, who is the largest distributor of Android-based smartphones. The research firm says that Samsung continues to be the number one smartphone manufacturer in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain with an overall share of 44.3 percent. Apple holds just over a quarter of the smartphone market, whereas rivals HTC, Sony and Nokia all jostle for the third position.

Sunnebo continued:

"Although Windows sales in the U.S. remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals. The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices."

Nokia may be trying to make headway in Britain by offering prepaid deals, but Kantar says that the iGeneration isn't necessarily biting.

"Over the past six months, just 28 percent of Nokia Lumia 800 sales have come from under 35's, compared with 42 percent of all smartphone sales. With the Nokia Lumia 920 being one of the few handsets available on EE 4G, new tariffs may help to change this by attracting early adopters in the coming months."

Kantar compiles its data through consumer panels across 12 countries.

Topics: Apple, Android, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • Big Fish In A Shrinking Pond

    Is Apple's US share actually growing faster than the US is shrinking as a proportion of the world market?

    Somehow, I don't think so...
  • Looks Like RIM Is Toast

    No way back for the Canadian purveyor of extremely buggy phones.
    Alan Smithie
  • Furtunes will change hands fast

    If history is any example, the current fortunes of iOS and Android will dwindel soon. WP8 which is a superior and safer platform will improve its market share pretty quickly. Also BB10 seems to be a solid platform. If WP8 can also sell a few smart phones models under $100 category, it can put android under serios trouble because the user experience of low cost androids are utter crap.
    • speaking for yourself i presume?

      I've had two Droid Incredibles for almost 3 years and they are both fantastic (well the misses drops hers from time to time). grabbed em both for $150. Sorry you've had bad experiences (i'm assuming you at least tried the phones you are talking smack about) but there are other people are having just a fancy time with them.
      • Hard to say

        I don't think ZDNet screens for corporate spokesmen.
        John L. Ries
        • ZDNet doesn't screen for them

          They hire them. See SJVN and David Morgenstern.
          • Oh yeah...

            Those nasty anti-MS bloggers.
            They need to take some integrity lessons from an MS shill.
            Like toddybum.
      • I've used WP devices

        very rarely - usually when I'm at a carrier store and compared to iOS and Android I'm not that impressed with them. Having used both Android and iOS for the last few years my preference is for iOS. Some people like Owlnet get entirely too fanatial over something that is a tool or a plaything depending on the situation.
    • Tell me something Owlnet

      Did you type that on your WP8 handset? Just curious.
    • Cool

      I'll be truthful, after playing around with the three big ones (iOS, Android, WM8), I settled happily on iOS. With that said, if Apple stops making phones I like, I'm definitely headed to WM8. I really dug the Lumia, and I hope Microsoft does well with WM8.
      Lexi Kimble
    • Re: If history is any example, the current fortunes of iOS and Android will

      Not as long as Intel's and Microsoft's efforts remain fragmented. Why don't they join forces to dominate mobile, like they dominated the desktop? Why is Intel chasing only Android to run on its mobile processors, while Microsoft is chasing only ARM to run its mobile OSes?

      It's like they're pulling in different directions, in pursuit of the same goal. They'll never achieve it like this.
  • This is bull!

    They may be the single biggest vendor in the US but, they are still way behind Android!
    • Nope. In the US, Android is starting its decline.

      Android is the new Symbian.
      • Pretty hard to know who to believe!

        Just finished reading another article about a week ago that showed Apple's share of the market has slipped about 5%. That's certainly true in the Tablet market. I think these stats about Apple gaining market share are only true for a few months after Apple releases a new phone and Apple quickly puts that info out to the public to glorify the gain, but soon the ever marching Androids keep the pressure on. Also, if you combine the rest of the world's market with the US share, you can see that Android still has more market than Apple. Using one country's stats to wave a flag is misleading at best.
        Laurentian Enterprises
        • Android rules the new feature phone.

          With totally different finances for 3rd party and handset makers when compared to smartphones.
      • Re: In the US, Android is starting its decline.

        Just as, in the world, the US has started its decline.
  • we see this every fourth quarter

    iPhone always picks up some slack in the fourth quarter. same thing every holiday season. then come spring summer and fall android takes over again. WP8 and BB10 will take some market share back this year, but not a lot to be relevant. BB10 is too little too late. and windows phone will still customers from apple more than android.
    • steal* customers

      • "Steal"

        Are customers property?
        John L. Ries
    • WP8 will steal only from Android.

      There is no logic to a thought process that thinks WP8 will steal iOS. Note: the 4 people I know with WP7/WP8 were all Android early adopters.