A new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says that Android devices as a group outsold the iPhone in the United States during the three months ending January 2013, with their share of total sales rising to nearly 50 percent.
The report, based on the results of Kantar's ongoing consumer panel research, saw U.S. Android sales rise a little more than 6 percent compared to the same period one year ago, while iOS lost just less than 5 percent, finishing at about 46 percent. Sprint customers were particularly likely to buy Android devices during the studied time frame, according to the study -- to the tune of 72 percent of all smartphone sales.
Kantar says this was due in part to a holiday price break on the popular Samsung Galaxy S III, which sold for as little as $99 on that carrier. On average, Sprint smartphone buyers paid $95 for Android devices, compared to $146 for iPhones. The previous period's figures were much closer, according to the report, at $127 and $130, respectively.)
Sprint remained in third place among carriers in smartphone sales at 14 percent, while AT&T took second with 28 percent and Verizon led with 35 percent.
Kantar's findings tallied roughly with a recent comScore report on overall market share, which found that Android users made up 53 percent of all U.S. smartphone subscribers, compared to iOS' 36 percent, during the fourth quarter of 2012.
Android could easily expand upon its gains in the near future, as the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S IV is set for release in mid-March, the company confirmed this weekend, and new devices featured at the Mobile World Congress hit the market.
Email Jon Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.
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