Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS beat Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android with a slightly larger share of mobile phone operating systems in the U.S. during the last quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. CIRP based its findings on a survey of U.S. customers that activated a new or used mobile phone from October to December 2013.
As seen in the chart above, Apple’s iOS had a 48 percent share of total mobile phone operating systems, while Android had a 46 percent share. According to CIRP, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), and non-smartphones each accounted for less than 3 percent of the activations in the sample group. CIRP noted that Apple’s strong showing during the fourth-quarter was largely due to the timely release of its latest iPhone models.
“Apple clearly benefitted from launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C just a couple weeks before the quarter started,” wrote CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz. “It increased its share considerably over the previous quarter, when it had only 34 percent of activations.”
Apple’s iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S became available in the U.S. on September 20, approximately two weeks before the beginning of the last quarter of 2013. The California-based company recently reported that it sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, an all time quarterly record.
CIRP also analyzed consumer spending patterns on each operating system. Not surprisingly, Apple’s iOS customers continued to outspend Android buyers during the last quarter. “iOS customers have higher carrier bills, spending more on voice, texts, and data than Android buyers,” noted CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin. “Over half of iOS buyers spend over $100 per month, compared to one-third of Android customers. And, about one quarter of Android customers spend under $50 per month, compared to only 7 percent of iOS buyers.”
Although Apple’s iOS took the lead in mobile operating system activations in the U.S. during the last quarter, the California-based company has been losing market share in the worldwide smartphone market. According to recently released data from market research firm Canalys, Android was found on nearly 80 percent of the smartphones shipped in 2013, up from 68 percent in 2012.
Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS share slipped from 20 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2013, even while the company increased the total number of iPhone units that it shipped last year. On the other hand, despite the overall decline in operating system market share last year, Apple actually gained market share during the last quarter.
According to Canalys, Apple’s iOS share increased from 13 percent in the third-quarter to 17 percent in the fourth-quarter. It should be noted that Apple’s fourth quarter growth spurt appeared to be mostly at Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) expense since the Korea-based smartphone maker saw its fourth-quarter market share decrease sequentially from 34 percent to 29 percent.
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