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Apple Fights Back: Now Outselling Samsung in the U.S. Smartphone Market
The last few months have been very interesting for Apple and Samsung; both have been locked in patent battles while all the while trying to convince smartphone buyers that their products are the next best thing. While Samsung has been steadily building its reputation as the world’s best maker of smartphones, Apple has been busy making a hash of its OS, and generally losing market share and stock value. Not good stuff by any stretch.
But things are turning around for Apple and the latest data suggests that it may just be in a position to reclaim its mantle as the world’s best smartphone maker. According to a report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple has made significant gains in the few months since it launched the latest iteration of the iPhone. Kantar estimates that sales of the iPhone 5 accounted for 48% of all Smartphone purchases in the U.S. Android occupied the second largest chunk of smartphone sales and these were housed largely in the Samsung Galaxy line.
The U.S. an important market
For Apple, a strong presence in the American market is key because European sales are still not as strong as Android-powered devices. Kantar points out that in Germany, Apple continues to lag behind Android where 73.9% of all smartphone sales are driven by the green robot. “Germany remains a tough market for Apple with its share falling by 5.1 percentage points over the past year,” said Kantar analyst, Dominic Sunnebo.
Things are even worse in Spain for Apple where Android devices account for 81.7% of the smartphone market. And we mustn’t forget that there are other players in the market who are busy trying to create some mindshare for themselves. In Italy for instance, Nokia continues to enjoy strong popularity among smartphone buyers and the Windows Phone is clocking in at 12% of smartphone sales.
Samsung leading globally
Apple continues to struggle to capture the hearts and minds of smartphone buyers globally and Kantar estimates that across 8 countries surveyed, Samsung dominates sales with 27.1% of all smartphone sales. Sharing a much smaller chunk are Apple and HTC which ranked second and third respectively.
There are several things that count against Apple in global markets and indeed the U.S. where it is just now regaining its footing. In some markets Apple is not seen with a favourable eye by customers. The company’s unrelenting patent battles in particular have put Apple in a bad light and many would-be smartphone buyers don’t think Apple should get their heard earned cash. Another factor (though not widely talked about), is the ‘cult of Apple.’ A large chunk of Apple’s smartphone sales have come from devoted people to the brand and many users outside of the U.S. and Europe just haven’t caught up with the cult yet. People in place like China have their first entry into Western media culture and technology through Google and this has given Android a dramatic boost. Samsung by aligning itself with Google has ensured itself success for at least another few years.
Despite all this though, Apple will be happy to see things turning around, even if that is only happening in the U.S.—you have to start somewhere after all.