Kantar: Android's U.S. sales in holding pattern, iOS closing in fast

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Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system powered 52 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the three-month period ending in May 2013, virtually unchanged from 51.9 percent in the year-earlier period, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports.

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS represented 41.9 percent of U.S. smartphone sales as of May 2013, increasing from 38.4 percent a year earlier--the largest gains posted by any mobile OS during the period in question. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone follows at 4.6 percent, increasing from 3.7 percent in the three-month stretch concluding in May 2012, while BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) plummeted from 4.6 percent to just 0.7 percent.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) remains in the overall U.S. smartphone sales lead at 34.6 percent, up from 32 percent in the year-earlier period, trailed by AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) at 29 percent, up incrementally from 28.9 percent. Sprint (NYSE:S) accounted for 12.7 percent of nationwide smartphone sales between March 1 and May 31, down from 13.4 percent a year ago.

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) fell from 13.5 percent to 10.1 percent: The carrier began selling Apple's iPhone in mid-April, and iPhone sales accounted for 31 percent of total T-Mobile smartphone sales over the weeks to follow, compared to 60.5 percent of AT&T's smartphone sales and 43.8 percent of Verizon's sales.

"The highly anticipated release of the iPhone on T-Mobile has benefited iOS in the latest three-month period, though it has not yet impacted T-Mobile's share in the market," said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Consumer Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo. "Of T-Mobile consumers who bought an iOS device since it launched on the carrier, 53 percent had previously owned a feature phone, well above the market average of 45 percent of iOS owners who previously owned a feature phone. Furthermore, of T-Mobile customers planning to change device within the coming year, 28 percent plan to upgrade to an iPhone for their next device."

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