Thursday, January 24, 2013

Smartphone Market Share

Once again Kantar WorldPanel is saying that iPhones outsold Android phones in the US.
iOS Maintains Lead For Last Quarter Of 2012
The findings are based off a survey of more than 250,000 US customers.
They claim that Apple sold 51.2% of smartphones in the US during the 12 weeks leading up to Christmas.

This claim of a large increase in Apple's position from earlier quarters deserves close examination.

From Apple's own quarterly report we know that in 4Q2012, Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones.

From the chart in this article we can see that in the past 8 quarters US sales of iPhones is less than 40% of total sales: iPhone 5 worldwide sales sorted by region

So at most, Apple has 47.8*.40 = 19 million US sales.

If Apple had 51.2% of US sales, then according to Kantar WorldPanel, total US 4Q2012 sales would be 37 million.

However, 4Q2011 US sales were 35 million.

So we are left with a choice, either Kantar WorldPanel is wrong, or the US smartphone market grew year to year only 5.8% for the 4th quarter.

As projected growth was more like 20%, I think I'll just believe Kantar WorldPanel is wrong.

If growth was 20%, Apple would have something like 45% of sales (likely bringing it about even with Android sales), which given the timing of the release of the iPhone 5 and the unusual discounting of iPhone 4s and 4Ses, sounds plausible.

We will get real numbers in February.


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