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Apple, Android Continue to Slug it Out in US Market

Apple lost its top sales spot to Android in US smartphone sales
Apple lost its top sales spot to Android in US smartphone sales
Courtesy of Apple

In my tracking of the smartphone market, I usually share with you global sales numbers from IDC, but in this look at the US market alone, we see how Apple iOS and Google Android virtually block out the sun for all other mobile OS providers in this country.

Smartphones running Android held a 50.3 percent share of the market for the three months ended November 2013 and iOS followed with a 43.1 percent share, according to a report released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In other words, more than nine out of 10 smartphones sold in the US have one of those operating systems or the other.

Android actually edged out iOS for the number on position from a year ago when Apple enjoyed a 53 percent share and Android was at 42.3 percent. Left to pick up the scraps was Microsoft Windows Phone, with a nearly 5 percent share and BlackBerry with a scant 0.6 percent as of November 2013. Windows Phone’s share actually rose from 2.6 percent while BlackBerry’s fell from 1.3 percent in the year ago period.

While the Windows Phone numbers are at least headed in the right direction, they remain miniscule in the shadow of the Android and iOS numbers. And as for BlackBerry, the declining sales just added to its misery. Over the last year, BlackBerry took a $1 billion writedown on the value of unsold devices running the new BlackBerry 10 OS, it laid off 4,500 employees – 40 percent of its workforce – and floated, then abandoned, plans to seek a buyer for the company.

As if that wasn’t enough, BlackBerry announced Jan. 2 that its contract for singer Alicia Keys to be the company’s “creative director” would lapse as of Jan. 31.

“With such serious issues at hand, BlackBerry seemed to have little need for a celebrity creative director,” reported CNNMoney.

That aside, these latest numbers indicate that Apple and Android are battling to be King of the Hill in the smartphone market in the US. And who stands to benefit from that is you, of course.