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Apple Reportedly Retakes U.S. Smartphone Sales Lead from Android on iPhone 5 Strength

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel shares its latest data on U.S. smartphone sales, calculating that a strong debut from the iPhone 5 has enabled Apple to retake the lead from Android in the race for the top platform. The report pegs Apple’s share of the market during the August-October period at 48.1%, compared to 46.7% for Android.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods. This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

Apple has, however, found stiffer competition from Android internationally, with Android holding 60-80% share in most other markets tracked by Kantar Worldpanel. Notable areas of weakness for Apple include Brazil (0.4%) and Spain (4.0%), but the company continues to perform fairly well in countries such as the the United Kingdom (32.7%) and Australia (29.4%).

The firm’s surveys of U.S. iPhone customers finds a healthy 60/40 balance between upgrade buyers and new users, suggesting that Apple is continuing to see loyal customers while also attracting new users with the iPhone 5. According to the report, 92% of current Apple users indicate that they will purchase an iPhone as their next phone.