iOS narrows smartphone gap with Android on strong T-Mobile US sales: report

iOS narrows smartphone gap with Android on strong T-Mobile US sales: report

Summary: Thanks to T-Mobile US finally jumping on the iPhone bandwagon, Apple's iOS share has spiked in the U.S. in recent months, narrowing the gap with its main rival Android.

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TOPICS: iPhone
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(Image: CNET)

Apple's iOS share has been bumped in the U.S. market by 3.5 percent during the three months ending in May, despite smartphone sales remaining "relatively stable" according to the latest research by Kantar Worldpanel.

The research firm's latest figures show T-Mobile US' iPhone sales from April helped raise the platform's share through the second quarter, narrowing the gap with Android which gained just 0.1 percent in share during the same period.

It came at a time when T-Mobile, which was then going through the motions to acquire MetroPCS — a deal it completed and rebranded under T-Mobile US — promised to do away with the traditional contract model.

In May, the T-Mobile US first-quarter revenue dipped by 7 percent, but added 579,000 subscribers during the period, thanks to the company's bid to finally sell the iPhone.

During this period, Kantar says the iPhone 5 became the best-selling smartphone at T-Mobile US for the three months ending May, accounting for almost one-third of all the carrier's smartphone sales. By comparison, AT&T saw 60 percent of its sales come from the iPhone and Verizon had about 44 percent, the report stated.

In spite of this, Android still retains 52 percent of the overall sales share, the report said. iOS trails behind with 41.9 percent of sales, while Windows Phone has an increasing share of nearly 5 percent of sales, up by 1 percent year-over-year.

"iOS's strength on T-Mobile appears to be the ability to attract first-time smartphone buyers upgrading from a feature phone," said Kantar Worldpanel's Dominic Sunnebo in prepared remarks. "Of T-Mobile consumers who bought an iOS device since it launched on the carrier, 53 percent had previously owned a feature phone, well above the market average of 45 percent of iOS owners who previously owned a feature phone."

The report, which also commented on the T-Mobile US current health state, said Kantar's position remains sketchy on if the strength of iOS on T-Mobile can "help reverse T-Mobile's decline," but the coming months will be important to both Apple and the cellular firm.

Apple is expected to announce the next iPhone in September or October, ahead of fourth-quarter holiday sales.

Topic: iPhone

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27 comments
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  • Er

    Fascinating..........
    Boothy_p
  • Windows Phone is reaching critical mass

    With more attractive models and upcoming 1080p support, Windows phone will see a sharp rise in market share in the coming quarters. Android is an utter mess with lax security and malware.
    OwlllllllNet
    • iOS and Windows Phone

      Will begin to lead the market. Android is simply a fragmented, laggy mess with unimaginable security woes and a horrible user experience.
      lagdroid98
      • iOS and Windows Phone?

        Have you used a Windows Phone? as long as developers are refusing to make apps for WP they're always going to be a distant 3rd.

        As for your android experience, which phone did you try. None of the phones ive ever tried had a "laggy mess with unimaginable security woes and horrible user experience"
        Shane Hudson
        • Laggy, etc.

          I think he meant the OS, in the process of keeping users updated to a single version. There are users using OS versions three or four years old on the Android phones, which a high percentage of Windows and iOS users are on the current versions. This presents a problem with people writing apps for the Android phones.
          rphunter1242
          • Unfortunately that's false

            WP 7 users were broken down into distinct groups. There was 7.1, 7.5, 7.6, 7.1 w/mangoo, 7.5 w/mangoo, and 7.8. To upgrade any of those versions to WP 8, you have to buy a new phone. It's the WM 6.3 to WM 6.5 thing, all over again. WP7 quite frankly, was not a good mobile OS. WP 8 is being foisted on all devices, in an effort to falsely proclaim higher sales numbers.
            Troll Hunter J
        • Android itself is a security risk

          Google collects your info and profiles you. With US laws they have to give your info away and lie about it.
          Remember their gmail backdoor to allow "law enforcement" direct access, that was used by the Chinese to compromise gmail just a year or two ago? It flies directly in the face of their statements they do not give direct access. It's not their fault. They are forced to and encouraged to lie by a corrupt system.
          However, that makes all their profiling a security risk. Add on top of that, NSA had to develop android security because of what they called platform security problems. If the NSA has to step in to develop your security, you should at least wonder why.
          http://www.esecurityplanet.com/mobile-security/nsa-building-a-more-secure-android.html
          I think most android users probably are used to silently being stalked more than most. I suppose it's not a security problem if you don't have a problem with it though...
          ossoup
          • And yet...

            The iPhone is considered to be the MOST hackable device on the planet.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/report-apple-iphone-the-most-hacked-mobile-device-by-far-2013-3

            (That's just one report... Google it and you'll find plenty more.)
            Darren B - KC
    • Re: and upcoming 1080p support

      Just in time for that to become a midrange feature in Android.
      ldo17
    • Windows?

      But who in their right mind would buy a windows phone, or any Microsoft OS for that matter?
      ppjl@...
      • More apps then maybe

        Ive owned a Nokia Lumia 822 and i felt it was an awesome phone. The only downfall to this is the lack of apps in the store. People just completely refuse to program for it because they seem to think its a waste of energy.
        Shane Hudson
  • IOS Only Sells Well With A Subsidy

    Tomi Ahonen has observed that Apple's success in a market is directly proportional to the typical amount of carrier subsidy: in markets where users are accustomed to buying phones outright, not from a carrier (i.e. most places outside the US), it doesn't sell as well as in the US.
    ldo17
    • And yet

      T-Mobile does not subsidize phones anymore, and here we have an article detailing how T-Mobile's inclusion of the iPhone is increasing the iPhone's market share. How do you explain that?
      Michael Kelly
      • Re: And Yet

        They allow you to make payments on the full price on the phone. Its not quite the same as buying the phone out right
        Shane Hudson
        • and yet

          It is the way most Americans buy anything over a couple of hundred dollars.
          rphunter1242
    • EVERY android phone is subsidized

      Google gives the OS away for free to get their spyware into your hands, where they make their real money...
      Iphones are the least subsidized. Making payments is not the same thing as subsidized. When I went into AT&T and got my first iPhone upgrade, the rep told me how the deals they had were only for android and other users, because Apple refused to pay the carrier subsidy. I understand because it's the carrier that gets my money every month. Why should apple or any other company pay the "poor carrier" that gets $100 from me each and every month? There were many articles spinning how apple was cutting into the "poor carrier's" margins because Apple won't pay the same subsidies or give it away for free just to get adware based spyware into your hands.
      ossoup
  • This makes you wonder

    If Apple had not been so stubborn/greedy/stupid and tied their phone to one carrier for a long time (then only two for a long time), how much greater would their user base have been before Android entered the fray? That's important because of inertia, most people will not change their phone's OS unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
    Michael Kelly
    • In the beginning...

      In the beginning, the carriers controlled not only the software on the phones, but to some extent, the hardware/capabilities as well. Apple went through a lot (of turn-downs) and could only get AT&T to take them w an exclusive agreement (and lots of kick backs). Don't know why they were on Verizon and not others for so long.

      I recall my first phone (Moto Razr) being a navigational disaster and unable to do things I thought were super simple. When I complained/sought help from Verizon, they said that is how VERIZON wants the phone to work! I then tried someone's Razr (on another network) and it was a completely different phone. I practically couldn't use it.

      My point is that if the carriers weren't so controlling of the phones they allowed on their networks, Apple probably would have done just what you questioned.
      nssdiver
      • Re: In the beginning...

        I guess if Apple had agreed like Motorola to have different versions of the same device (like you mention) they may have sold more, but then they would have a lot of 'off' iPhones.. In the end it was Apple's choices given the environment at the time that resulted in only landing AT&T. It really isn't all due to just the carriers.
        Xennex1170
    • I'm fine with people sticking to android.

      I do not like android, since it seems like a tricky debasement of open source, since google controls the core team and only allows "features" that won't compete or deprecate their spyware layer. Almost every single person I know or have heard of who has rooted has given in and installed the GAPPS to give google root level spyware control of their phone back, since it's designed to require it. IOS is built on an open source kernel as well, Darwin, but way more honest about the proprietary layer.
      Another thing is the updates. The skyhook case revealed that google controls android down to approving or denying on a device by device basis down to the carrier code allowed on it, or it's not allowed to be called "real android" compatible. They just don't publicize their backdoor control.
      Still, politics aside, if someone wants a pretty good phone for a low cost knowing it's subsidized to get spyware in your hands to make their other ad based business more valuable, it's a tradeoff everyone is entitled to make. I don't think IOS needs "more users". IOS developers still make more than any other store I believe, since google is a little skimpy on their ad-based profits, although they make millions a day on the ad-based profiling that android helps feed.
      ossoup