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Apple claims throne as mobile king

Android falls behind in the U.S mobile market while the iPhone 5 pushes Apple to the top spot.

Apple gained majority market share today, claiming 48.1% of U.S. mobile users. Meanwhile, Android’s market share dropped from 63.3% to 46.7%. 

Aside from sales, Apple is also proving to be the leader in other aspects of the mobile industry.

As the mobile market is maturing, smartphone and tablet owners are using their devices for more than just placing calls and checking email. 

Black Friday drove over $1 billion in online purchases this year—the highest web sales ever posted during the popular shopping day in the U.S. following the Thanksgiving holiday. Of those online purchases, mobile devices made up 24% of cyber shopping traffic -- 77% of which was done on iOS devices and 21% on Android.

Apple devices dominate all other phones on Flickr.

Android disengagement is not limited to shopping.  Reports released earlier this year indicate that iOS users use more apps and browse the Internet more on their smartphones and tablets. On Flickr, Apple devices dominate smartphone camera uploads.

This disparity has left many tech pundits and anonymous internet commenters wondering—are Android users less engaged? And if they are, why?


Total comments: 15

Most Android phones sold are those cheap, free-with-sign-up types. Those buyers don’t use internet, apps, camera, etc. Only flagship phones from the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG can compete with iPhone for high-end customers. Even then, a lot of those phone were chosen because “iPhone was in short supply”, “I don’t support Apple”, “it is as good as iPhone.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but this statistic is based on 12 weeks of sales data not on how many people own and use Apple or Android phones. Is it any surprise when the herds rush out to get the latest shiny iDevice? This spike happens every time they churn out their latest "revolutionary" phone.

All this points out is that during the same short period of time fewer Android users were compelled to upgrade their phones to maintain their social status. We may as well be tracking how many Apple or Android phones were sold today between noon and 1pm and declare a winner based on that. Worthless stats providing great fodder for sensational headlines.

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This is a very U.S.-centric post by dpreview. Despite Apple having gained market share for smartphones in the U.S. due to the recent introduction of the iphone 5, android has increasingly eaten into Apple's market share for smartphones and tablets worldwide.

Currently 3 of 4 smartphones being sold worldwide are android. And while Apple tablets still outsell android-based ones worldwide, android has shrunk Apple market share in tablets over the last year from 65% to about 55%. So, the trend worldwide is favoring android.

Edited 2 times; latest 5 minutes since posting

When you say the Apple tablets outsell others, are you including things like the Kindle and Nook devices that are also Android based tablets ?

I would find it hard to believe the $500 Apples are outselling those under $200 devices.

I don't know the answer, but I find it hard to believe.


All the reports I've seen concerning "tablet" market share include products like the Amazon Kindle Fire and B&N's color tablets. (They do not include android-based black-and-white e-Ink readers.) The iPad got a big head start in the large tablet category, so I'm not surprised Apple still leads in worldwide market share. I still think it's impressive that android has caused Apple's global tablet share to fall from 65% to 55% over the last year.


Ok, that is surprising to me. Based on the cost difference alone.
Then again I'm rather shocked that iPhones have actually beat out Android phones (at least in the US), with so many brands and features available.


I suspect the surging Apple smartphone share in the U.S. may be in part due to the dampening effect Apple's litigation has had on the number of android models being sold in the U.S. This is just a guess, but I think other manufacturers are withholding many models from the U.S. market till at least the litigation dust settles.

So, in part, the current U.S. trend may be an "artificial" surge on the part of Apple. Or at least one caused to some extent by its own protective litigation.


All Android flagship phones are on sale in the US. Galaxy S III, Note II, Optimus G, Nexus 4, One X, Droid DNA are all onsale.

If Apple haven't have production issues there will be more iPhone users.


I'm pretty sure Samsung and others have decided not to put some models of phones and tablets on the U.S. market because of fear of more litigation from Apple. There are many smaller players in the smartphone field, and if they had hopes to sell to the U.S. market, they may have decided in the wake of the $1 billion verdict that it's not worth it at this time. This verdict will have a dampening on android sales in the U.S. market until there is more clarity in the courts as to how vulnerable competitors will be to Apple lawsuits in the future.


Maps gets me from point a to point b just as well as google maps and i like the interface much better.

Edited 8 minutes after posting
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I run an economy Android phone. It does have a good span of functionality but is frustratingly slow and inconsistent. Making an actual call is a trial. But, it is cheap. I also have an iPad 3, where everything works well, that's ignoring the complete mess on Apple Maps that came with IOS6. If Apple had any ball$, they'd reinstate Google maps! However, fact is, the iPhone is easy to use, fast and most users will easily make full use of the functionality when they would struggle with Android.

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I'm a little confused. You opened your comment by talking about a cheap Android device, then an expensive Apple one - I'm not sure how any of that backs up your conclusion?


Yep, you are not wrong. Point should've been that the Apple gear sells well despite the high price because it works and works very well indeed.


Hmmm...I'll go and buy a cheap iOs phone to compare, just to be fair...Oh!...Wait...There's none....bummer...

Well, I'll get my double SIM Android Samsung then and test it against a double SIM iPhone...Oh!...Wait...I can't do that...double bummer...

The iPhone compares well to top-of-the-line Android phones. In fact, it somehow tops them by offering a more integrated approach.

...but, If one does not have the requirements Apple has stuffed into their "one solution fits all" offering, one is SOL.

On the other hand, Android offers a plethora of solutions for each individual requirement and, mostly important, individual budget.

That's why Android is taking the global smartphone market by storm, no matter how many manipulative articles like this are planted.

(The Galaxy SIII has sold 30 million units since it's launch but their owners must have a serious beef with Flickr, according to the chart, they don't use the site...Good grief, it's so obvious, it's almost sad...)


Edited 2 times; latest 11 minutes since posting

Curious, what is Apple's market share outside of it's home field in the US? I would like to see the numbers in Asia and Europe.

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Total comments: 15
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