New York — Windows and iOS-based smartphones are gaining sales share at a faster pace than Android smartphones, said research company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
In addition, the research firm reported that Verizon Wireless and Sprint are gaining smartphone sales share at the expense of their two rivals.
Despite the iOS and Windows gains, Android remained on top with 51.7 percent sales share for the three months ending April, up 1.4 percentage points compared with the year-ago period, Kantar found in surveying consumers. The iOS share rose 2.3 percentage points to 41.4 percent, and the Windows share grew 1.8 percentage points to 5.6 percent. BlackBerry’s share fell 4.6 percentage points to 0.7 percent, and Symbian’s share fell 0.3 percentage points to 0.3 percent.
Sales exclude phones purchased by enterprises.
Kantar also found Verizon Wireless remained on top among the four national carriers in smartphone share and posted the biggest gain in smartphone activations of all four national carriers. Verizon’s share rose 1.8 percentage points, to 36.3 percent, in the three months ending April, while AT&T remained in second place with a stable share of 26.3 percent. Sprint Nextel share rose to 13.1 percent, up 1.4 percentage points, and T-Mobile share declined to 11.3 percent.
Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato attributed Verizon’s gains to the carrier’s growing Windows-phone activations and Sprint’s gain to growing iPhone sales. “For Verizon, Windows’ share rose from 0.2 percent in the three months ending April 2012 to 6.8 percent by the period ending April 2013,” she said. “At Sprint, they continued to reap share increases thanks to their iOS offering. iOS sales share on Sprint grew from 33.4 percent to 38.4 percent over the last year.”
Windows is gaining U.S. share, she said, by attracting a broad array purchasers, many of them consumers upgrading from feature phones. Among people who bought a Windows device in the past year, 42 percent were trading up from a feature phone, 25 percent upgraded from another Windows device, and 23 percent switched from Android, Parlato said.
Purchasers of iOS-based smartphones, on the other hand, are less likely to be upgrading from feature phones. iOS is “effective at capturing Android users and their own users,” she said, but only 31 percent were upgrading from feature phones,” she said.
“Windows is also seeing success in the younger group,” she added. “When looking at those who changed devices between 2011 and 2012, Windows was more successful at capturing older consumers aged 50 to 64. But when looking at those changing now and in the last year, we’re seeing Windows now gaining share among those aged 25 to 34.”
Nokia’s Lumia devices were the key models driving Windows’ growing three-month share, she said.