Apple makes surprise gains in mobile market in February

Faith Merino · April 5, 2013 · Short URL:

Despite talk of slowing iPhone sales, report shows iPhone is still seeing strong growth

There’s been a lot of doom-and-gloom talk around Apple these days. After a disappointing holiday season and rumors that the company will come in below its own guidance this quarter—which would be the first time like, ever, since Apple has a reputation for low-balling its guidance—some are questioning whether the hardware giant has hit its peak and its sales are now shrinking down to a more real-world size.

And then comScore released a report that shows Apple jumping up out of its pool of blood like Samuel L. Jackson, yelling, “not today, mothaf*cka!”

The report reveals gains for iPhone in February and losses for everyone else, which includes—surprisingly—Android.

While Android continues to hold the top spot with 51.7% of the OS market, that’s down two percentage points from November 2012, when Android accounted for 53.7% of the market.

The iPhone, meanwhile, has made a surprise jump in market share, claiming 38.9% of the market, which is up nearly four percentage points from last November, when it accounted for 35% of the market.

With its share of the platform market growing, Apple’s OEM market share has likewise increased. Apple maintains the top spot among OEMs with 38.9% of the market, which is up 3.9 percentage points from November, when it had 35% of the market. Samsung comes in at a close second with 21.3% of the OEM market. Samsung’s market share will likely bump up when the Galaxy S4 hits shelves April 16. The company is already flaunting a stellar first quarter, with a 53% increase in operating income to $7.7 billion.

ComScore notes that the smartphone market as a whole grew 8% between November 2012 and February 2013, now making up 57% of the overall mobile market. Some 134 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones as of February, marking the second highest rate of new smartphone users ever, with one million consumers ditching their cell phones and buying their first smartphone in February.

And while Android maintains the lead among OS platforms, Apple actually gained more users than Android in the last year (21 million to 17 million, respectively).

Horace Dediu of Asymco notes three primary reasons for the iPhone’s growth in users:

1)      Broader distribution, with three out of four major carriers now carrying the iPhone.

2)      Three products that are now being offered for free.

3)      Increasing awareness due to network effects.

Dediu expects Apple’s market share to grow even more when it adds T-Mobile to its list of carriers. 


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