Sprint helps push Android smartphone sales to the top

News Stacy Warden 09:12, Feb 26 2013

Google's Android surpasses Apple's iOS in U.S. smartphone sales

Google's Android operating system trumped its rival iOS in U.S. smartphone sales again. This time around it can thank Sprint for that push to the top, as the wireless carrier helped Android climb 6.4 percentage points in the three-month period ending in January, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Those points helped put Google's OS at just under 50 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales.

Meanwhile, iPhone sales dropped from the previous year, capping off at just 45.9 percent of all smartphone sales for the same three-month period. Apple's loss was another platform's gain, as Windows Phone's share actually increased to 3.2 percent. Here's how Kantar Worldpanel analyst Mary-Ann Parlato explains Sprint's role in the Android spike: 

“Part of Android’s increase in the latest period can be attributed to its large gain in share within Sprint’s smartphone sales. In the three-month period ending October 2012, sales on Sprint were divided almost 50/50 between Android and iOS. However, in the latest period, Android’s share of Sprint sales increased by 22.6% points from 49.3% to 71.9%.”

It should be noted that during the same period there was quite a difference in price on the rival operating systems. Parlato points out that there was a significant price drop to $95 for Android, and an increase to $146 for iOS. In the past, the two platforms reflected a similar average price point. 

Curious how the Android sales break down? Not surprisingly, it turns out that Samsung's Galaxy S3 was one of Sprint's hottest sellers. In the previous quarter, the S3 took just 14 percent of all smartphone sales on the carrier's network. But then Sprint went ahead and cut the price in half, which resulted in the handset stealing a whopping 39 percent of sales, no doubt pushing Android to the top. And if that's not enough, Samsung is expected to release its follow up Galaxy S4 sometime this year.


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