Research Confirms The U.S. Cellphone Market Is A Two-Horse Race

Android dominates, Apple takes the rest
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It’s a tale of two cities in the smartphone world.

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS accounted for virtually 100 percent of the mobile phone activations in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

In the September 2017 quarter, Android accounted for 71 percent of U.S. activations, the same as its share in the year-ago September 2016 quarter, and up from 68 percent in the June 2017 quarter. iOS accounted for 29 percent of activations, up from its 25 percent share in the year-ago September 2016 quarter, and down from its 31 percent share in the June 2017 quarter.

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According to CIRP: “iOS improved a bit relative to its year-ago share, at the expense of Windows and basic phones, which statistically now have zero share in the U.S.” Microsoft essentially admitted the Windows phone is dead earlier this month.

Among phone brands, Samsung had the highest share in the U.S. market in the quarter, at 44 percent, with Apple next at 29 percent and LG at 13 percent.

All other brands, primarily Motorola and HTC, and others, accounted for the remaining 14 percent.

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“Phone brand shares remained relatively stable compared to last year,” said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP. “Samsung continues to sell the most phones, as it has for the last couple of quarters. Apple increased share somewhat relative to last year, while LG fell a bit. This leaves 10 to 15 percent of the market to a range of other brands.”

“The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models were available only for a couple of weeks in the quarter, so the data is still coming in,” continued Lowitz. “Still, it’s not quite enough to outweigh the clear impact of Apple customers holding back on purchasing for the first 10 weeks of the quarter, as they waited for new phone models.”

CIRP based its findings on a survey of 500 U.S. people who activated a new or used phone in the July through September period.

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