Chicago — Smartphone activations repeated history in the fourth quarter when Apple’s iOS surged to account for more cellphone activations than the Android OS, but if history continues to repeat, Android will regain the lead in the first quarter of 2015, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) said.
“Android has a greater share in three out of four quarters, but in the first full quarter following an iPhone launch, iOS increases its share of activations dramatically,” said Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, iOS share of activations hit 50 percent, compared with Android’s 45 percent. Apple’s share was up slightly from the year-ago quarter’s 48 percent, which exceeded Android’s 45 percent.
During the past few years, Android’s margin over iOS has been greatest in the third calendar quarter because iOS buyers are waiting for the launch of a new iPhone, said CIRP partner Mike Levin. Android market share peaked at 67 percent in the third quarter of 2014, compared with iOS’s 28 percent share, he noted. Levin called the fourth-quarter share reversal after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch “significant” and noted that “if annual patterns persist, we expect Android to have a greater share in the first quarter of 2015.”
Also in the fourth quarter, Windows garnered a 3 percent share of cellphone activations, BlackBerry had 0 percent, and basic phones had 2 percent.
CIRP based its findings on a Jan. 1-12 survey of 500 U.S. consumers who activated a new or used phone in the October through December 2014 period.