While many analysts estimated that iOS had overtaken Android in the last part of 2012, numbers released today by Kantar Worldpanel tell a slightly different story. It appears that Android devices actually outsold the iPhone over the last three months ending in January, 2013. It is interesting to see that while Android’s market share grew and Apple’s fell, it wasn’t actually a dip in sales of the iPhone that resulted in this change. Unsurprisingly RIM and Symbian have shrunk to minuscule levels of usage. Android is also continuing to dominate among first-time smartphone purchasers, while the iPhone has largely been selling to the same consumer base for quite a while now. Of course it also helps that Android comes from many different manufacturers at practically every price point imaginable. Android also offers options. You can find every screen size, screen resolution or combination of power and battery life that you want. It’s great to see numerical proof that the Android ecosystem is alive and well, and hopefully as Android continues to leave iOS far behind both in terms of hardware and software, we will see Apple’s market share continue to shrink.
The other interesting bit of data released today related to each carrier. We not only saw that Verizon is continuing to lead in terms of overall market share among US carriers, but we have also seen more and more iPhone users leaving AT&T and heading for Verizon. This is hardly shocking considering AT&T’s abysmal customer service combined with the release, at long last, of the first LTE iPhone. But what is left of AT&T’s considerable customer base is still largely fans of iOS. Its amazing that even after all this time, the years that AT&T had an exclusive contract with Apple to sell the iPhone continues to be a money maker. Sprint and T-Mobile had slight gains in terms of market share and smartphone sales. It will be interesting to see if either of the second-tier carriers can make a significant move in what is left of 2013. But they will have a lot of challenges to overcome as Verizon continues to have an untouchable LTE network while everyone else struggles to build their own. And since the days of OEMs launching exclusive flagship devices to any one carrier seem to be in the past, getting loyal customers to switch from their long-time cell provider will be tough.
But this data clearly shows that the future is Android as we see that Android continues to rise and the iPhone continues its slow slide into obscurity. The raw data is below, let us know what you find interesting.