Apple Steals Throne from Android: Number One in U.S.A.

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS was the majority smartphone platform in the U.S. for the first time ever, taking a 53.3 percent share for the four-month period ending November 25, according to data from the Kantar Worldpanel. It had a 35.8 percent share in the same quarter last year.

“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, Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement.

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The iPhone maker grabbed some of the market from Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, whose share over the same period fell to 41.9 percent from 52.8 percent last year. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone managed to edge up to 2.7 percent from 2.1 percent in 2011, while Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) fell hard to be down to only 1.4 percent of the market from 7 percent last year. Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Symbian fell from 0.4 percent to 0.2 percent.

According to Kantar, while Apple’s growth was largely attributed to the release of the iPhone 5, the value of the company’s older models can’t be overstated.

“The iPhone 5 has been successful this period; however, we also see that Apple’s older models – the iPhone 4S and 4 — have also contributed to the growing share of iOS,” Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato said in a statement. “This is particularly the case for first-time smartphone iPhone buyers where we see the older models still selling well among this group.”

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Of those who bought an iPhone in November, 40 percent were new smartphone buyers. In addition, 27 percent of iPhone buyers transferred from another platform.

Android, meanwhile, continues to be the favorite in Europe. According to the firm, the Google platform took 61 percent of the market there, up from 51.8 percent a year ago.

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