Apple Raises Market Share to 53%, Ousting Android from Top Spot
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has become the number-one smartphone player in America by obtaining 53.3 percent of new smartphone sales over a 12 week period.
The sales data, compiled by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, ended on November 25 and showed a pattern of growth for Apple. During a previous study (which was completed on October 28), researchers found that the iPhone accounted for 48.1 percent of the domestic smartphone market.
Based on these reports, it is hard to believe that Apple will disappoint investors when it reports its Q1 FY2013 results. Investors are much harder to impress than consumers, however. Apple lost more than 11 percent of its value from August 24 to November 26 -- roughly the same period in which Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's most recent study was conducted.
Nonetheless, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's researcher Dominic Sunnebo believes that Apple has achieved a "major milestone" by passing the 50 percent market share threshold for the first time. Sunnebo expects further growth in December.
Apple's gains are specific to the United States. In Europe, Android has increased its market share from 51.8 percent in 2011 to 61 percent in 2012. Not surprisingly, Europe's number-one smartphone manufacturer is Samsung. The South Korean firm currently holds the number-one spot in five European countries (none of which were specified in the report).
Samsung obtained 44.3 percent of the market during the 12-week period that ended November 25. Apple is the number-two player in Europe with a 25.3 percent share, followed by HTC, Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK), all of which are fighting for third place.
"Although Windows sales in the US remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals," Sunnebo added in his report. "The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices."
Nokia's biggest challenge could be in finding new ways to attract younger consumers. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's data, only 28 percent of Nokia's Lumia 800 sales have come from individuals under the age of 35 compared to 42 percent of all smartphones. "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," Sunnebo wrote.
While Nokia is down nearly five percent Friday, the company has been on the rise this month, gaining more than 26 percent over the last 30 days. Nokia's three-month gains stand at 50 percent. Over the past six months, Nokia has risen more than 75 percent.
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