Strong Holiday Sales Help iOS Beat Out Android

Apple once again saw its mobile operating system return to the top spot. In the fourth quarter of 2014, sales of iOS smartphones edged out Android handsets by 0.1 percent in the U.S., European, and Chinese markets, according to a market analysis by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Among other contributing factors, Apple was buoyed by strong Christmas sales and a strong portfolio of products, including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which were announced at the end of the third quarter. During the same time period, Android saw users sour on the Lollipop version of its operating system, with many denouncing the latest update as being completely unusable.

New Models Driving Sales

"While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarterEUs performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever,EU Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, wrote in the report. EUWith a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay, Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.EU

Throughout the holiday quarter, the iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the U.S. and it was also the most popular smartphone to give as a gift. Samsung retained its number two spot in the vendor chart with the Galaxy S5, which was the second best-selling smartphone.

Across Europe, AndroidEUs share declined by 3.8 percentage points year-over-year to 66.1 percent while iOS rose by 6.2 percentage points. Great Britain had the biggest impact on the decline as iOS grew its share of sales by 13.1 percentage points compared to the same time last year with Samsung, LG and Sony all losing market share both year-over-year and over the previous quarter.

EUItaly was the only European market where Android grew,EU...

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