While some analysts are convinced that Apple’s smartphone business is doomed, new sales data would seem to indicate that the iPhone still has fight left in it.
According to a report by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple made significant sales gains over Android during the summer in the U.S., even before the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
Year-over-year, Apple’s share of smartphone sales in the three-month period ending in August grew 5.4 percentage points to 39.3 percent of the total sales in the U.S., while Android sales dropped to a little more than 55 percent of total sales in the same period. This was the first summer that Apple included iPhones in its back-to-school promotion, which may be a contributing factor to the increased sales.
Verizon made significant sales gains over its closest rival AT&T, holding a commanding lead with 37.1 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S., compared to AT&T’s paltry 21.7 percent share. Sprint, which recently acquired Clearwire then promptly fired three quarters of the company’s workforce, dropped to 14.6 percent of total sales in the same period, down 6.2 percentage points from where it was the previous year.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s new “uncarrier” strategy has paid dividends, with the carrier taking up 13.2 percent of the total smartphone sales this past summer. In addition, adding the iPhone to the carrier’s lineup has boosted sales, both from new smartphone buyers and existing smartphone owners.
“When iOS first debuted on T-Mobile in mid-April, the majority of sales came from consumers upgrading from a featurephone to their first smartphone. However, looking at those who purchased an iPhone in the August period, 56% of those consumers came from another smartphone, including 38.5% from an Android device,” Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.