Touch and Go: Apple Reportedly Back On Top in Smartphone Sales

IPhone 5

Kantar Worldpanel, a research firm, has released data on US smartphone sales. They found that the iPhone 5 managed to boost Apple’s numbers enough for the company to retake the lead, surpassing Android. For August through October, Apple took 48.1% of the market, with Android taking 46.7%.

Outside of the US, Apple is struggling in some areas. For instance, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s data, the iPhone is particularly weak in Brazil and in Spain with 0.4% and 4.0% marketshare respectively. Apple does have a significant standing in countries such as the UK and Australia where the company respectively has a 32.7% and 29.4% marketshare.

Lastly, Kantar Worldpanel found that the iPhone 5 was purchased in a 60/40 split between upgrade buyers and first time iPhone owners. This of course suggests that Apple has loyal users and is still picking up new customers. Further backing this notion, is the reports finding that 92% of current Apple users will stay with the brand.

I suspected we would see something like this when the iPhone 5 was introduced. The general public is beginning to wise up to Apple’s release cycle. Sales slump off as we begin to approach a product update. When the new model is announced, the pent-up demand bursts loose and the iPhone surges ahead again. If only temporarily.

Still, I think this is fantastic news for Apple. They are gaining new customers and retaining old ones. I still insist that Apple is aiming at a younger generation, my generation, in an attempt to develop lifelong Apple devotees. Apple is playing a long game here.