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Kantar: Apple Share Picks Up In U.S.

New York — Apple’s share of retail-level U.S. smartphone sales rose slightly year-over year in the third quarter, but the gain doesn’t yet fully reflect the impact of the new iPhones that went on sale Sept. 20, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech found in a consumer survey.

 “August is traditionally a quiet month for Apple as consumers wait for the release of new models, and strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C at the end of September did not manage to make up for the lull,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director. “The full impact of the new iPhones will be seen at Christmas when iOS is expected to bounce back strongly in Britain, the U.S. and Australia.”

During the three-month period, Apple’s retail-level share of U.S. smartphone sales inched up by 1.3 percentage points to 35.9 percent compared to the year-ago period. That followed a gain of 5.4 percentage points in the three months ending August to 39.3 percent.

During the period ending September, Android share fell to 57.3 percent, down 2.5 percentage points from the year-ago period’s 59.8 percent. Android’s share in the three months ending August also fell, slipping 5.6 percentage points to 55.1 percent.

Windows share rose in the latest period to 4.6 percent, up from the year-ago 2.7 percent, while BlackBerry share fell to 1 percent from the year-ago 2.2 percent.

 In other findings, Kantar said the Windows Phone sales, driven almost entirely by Nokia sales, continue to “make rapid progress in Europe” and have also shown signs of growth in emerging markets such as Latin America.”

 “Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian, it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot,” Kantar said. “The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia feature phone, and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step.” Although price is an obstacle to smartphone sales in developing markets, the budget-priced Lumia 520 “opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.”

Windows Phone accounted for one in 10 smartphone sales across the five major European markets and is gaining momentum in emerging markets, Kantar also said. Nonetheless, Android remains the dominant operating system across Europe with 71.9 percent share in the latest period, up 4.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year.