iPhone 6 launch led Apple to 47.7% share of US market, edging Android's 47.6%
For the first time since the end of 2012, Apple's iPhone edged out all devices running Android for shipments in the U.S., becoming not only the top device, but also the top domestic platform for the quarter.
The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, published on Wednesday, shows that Apple was responsible for 47.7 percent of smartphones shipped in the U.S. during the December quarter. Led by the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple managed to top the plethora of devices running Android by the slimmest of margins — Â 0.1 percent.
Unsurprisingly, Apple's flagship iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the U.S., and was also the most popular smartphone to give as a gift. Somewhat interestingly, Kantar says that Samsung's Galaxy S5 was the second-best selling smartphone, making it unclear whether the research firm lumped the iPhone 6 and larger iPhone 6 Plus together as one model.
With iOS and Android accounting for virtually all American smartphone sales, there was little room left for competitors: Microsoft's Windows Phone took a distant third place with 3.8 percent, while BlackBerry managed just 0.3 percent of devices shipped.
"While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter's performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."
The new results also spotlight Apple's success in China, where almost a quarter of consumers who bought an iPhone during the quarter were purchasing their first smartphone. The iPhone accounted for 21.5 percent of smartphones shipped in the period, increasing Apple's share from 19 percent a year ago.
The launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also chipped away at Android's dominance in Europe, where the platform's share declined by 3.8 percentage points year over year to 66.1 percent. Apple's iOS platform, meanwhile, rose 6.2 points across the continent, and ranged from a 12.9 percent share in Spain to 42 percent in Great Britain.
The global success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus propelled Apple to sales of a massive 74.5 million units last quarter, shattering its previous record.