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Over the past few years, more and more users have been ditching their old-style cell phones for smartphones, as demand for full-featured web browsers and email continues to grow. For the fifth year in a row, the iPhone continues to be the main beneficiary of this shift, with 51.2% of the market share in the last quarter of 2012.

According to the research firm Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, the iPhone was the top-selling smartphone of 2012, followed by Android with a strong 44.2%, just a slight drop from 44.8% last year. Windows Phone remains at third place, with a 2.6% market share. More interestingly, this report shows that Android user have been switching to the iPhone more quickly than last year: 19% of iPhone sales were derived from previous Android users, a jump from 9% last year:

the proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increases. 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011,”

The trend was more visible on Verizon, where 49% of all iOS device sales derived from previous Android users. As far as carriers, AT&T, which began with the original launch of the iPhone as the exclusive carrier and is still the leader in the smartphone market, has seen a small decline over the last year, with the market share of 33.3% over the last year. While Verizon has remained stable at 32%, Sprint has remained the last one on the list with a mere 14.8% of smartphone sales in the last year:

“Top carrier rankings remain consistent this period, with AT&T continuing to maintain its lead with 33.3% of smartphones sold in this 12 week period.”

iPhone marketshare 2012 last Q

Over the last year, there have been concerns about Apple’s softening sales growth in the smartphone market: despite remaining the top seller in the United States, its lead has not been increasing. However, the latest data, showing Android switchers moving over to iOS, as well as new smartphone users taking on the platform, show that Apple’s position is still the strongest in the market, followed by Android which remains a close competitor worth looking at.

(via 9to5Mac)

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