Kantar: Apple fueled 40% of U.S. smartphone sales ahead of iPhone 5s, 5c launch


Sales of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone surged 5.4 percent year-over-year across the United States in the three-month period ending in August 2013, just weeks before the company launched its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports.

The iPhone accounted for 39.3 percent of U.S. smartphones purchased between June 1 and Aug. 31, up from 33.9 percent in the year-ago period, Kantar says. While Android continues to lead at 51.1 percent market share, the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) OS saw its market share plummet from 60.7 percent a year ago to 55.1 percent, a decline of 5.6 percentage points.

The firm credits the iPhone's gains in part to T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), which began selling the Apple device this spring. "When iOS first debuted on T-Mobile in mid-April, the majority of sales came from consumers upgrading from a feature phone to their first smartphone," said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo. "However, looking at those who purchased an iPhone in the August period, 56 percent of those consumers came from another smartphone, including 38.5 percent from an Android device."

Kantar reports little movement among the other major U.S. smartphone operating systems. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone captured 3 percent of U.S. sales in the June-August period, up from 2.6 percent the previous year, while BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) sales slipped from 2.1 percent to 1.8 percent. Last week, BlackBerry reported second-quarter smartphone sales of just 3.7 million, posting a $965 million loss; the embattled manufacturer recently agreed to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) accounted for 37.1 percent of U.S. smartphone sales during the period ending in August, up 6.9 percentage points. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) followed at 21.7 percent, ahead of Sprint (NYSE:S) at 14.6 percent and T-Mobile at 13.2 percent.

For more:
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- read this TechCrunch article

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