iOS Leads US Smartphone Operating System Market Share in Q4 2012

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iOS Leads US Smartphone Operating System Market Share in Q4 2012Apple, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS operating system (OS) emerged as the leader in a recent market survey of mobile operating systems, edging Google, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and taking up more than half of the entire market share. The survey conducted by Kantar WorldPanel ComTech covered the 12-week period which ended December 23, 2012.

Compared to the fourth, or December ending quarter of 2011 where iOS led Android by a mere tenth of a percentage point (44.9 to 44.8 percent), Apple had a larger lead in the December ending quarter of 2012.

Last quarter, iOS’ market share was at 51.2 percent, compared to Android’s 44.2 percent. Finishing a distant third was Microsoft, Corp.’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone OS with 2.6 percent. The BlackBerry OS of Research in Motion, Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) took a steep drop from 6.1 percent in Q4 2011 to 1.1 percent in Q4 2012, thereby placing fourth for the recently concluded quarter.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato had some interesting, yet simple observations on the increased market share for iOS. According to the analyst, 36 percent of iOS sales came from “other smartphone users” over 2012, while the percentage of Android phone users switching to Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone continued to increase. Parlato said that 19 percent of iOS sales in 2012 came from Android, a figure that increased from 9 percent in 2011.