Apple pulls ahead in horse race with Android

The company gets meaningful sales momentum heading into the critical end-of-year selling period.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 29, 2012 6:29PM
Credit: 2012 Apple Inc
Caption: Apple iPhone 5Apple (AAPL) leapfrogs ahead in the smartphone market share race again on the strength of iPhone 5 introductions. That provides the company with meaningful sales momentum as it heads into the critical end-of-year selling period. But it also indicates how volatile this market is and how unlikely it is that any company can stay at the very top of the market share pile for very long. (Apple is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.)

In the 12 weeks that ended Oct. 28, Apple’s iPhone gathered 48.1% of the U.S. smartphone market, according to Kantar Worldpanel. That was a big leap from the company’s 22.4% share in the same period of 2011. And it edged Apple’s iPhones ahead of Android-based smartphones at the top of the smartphone heap. Market share for Android-based smartphones fell to 46.7% from 63.3%.

I expect to see market share re-shuffled a bit in the next reporting period since the 12 weeks to Oct. 28 didn’t include results from the release of new BlackBerry phones from Research In
Motion (RIMM) or from the launch of new smartphones from Nokia (NOK).

But the smartphone market is clearly an Apple/Android horse race at this moment, with the lead horse depending on which platform introduced new models most recently.

Right now that’s Apple -- and the front of the pack is a good place to be as the field begins its turn into the end-of-year home stretch. Apple has made a good recovery from its $525.62 Nov. 15 closing low to close at $589.36 Thursday, but I think this market share position indicates the stock has further to run as we head into 2013.

At the time of this writing, Jim Jubak didn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this post in personal portfolios. The mutual fund he manages, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not own positions in any stock mentioned. The fund owned shares of Apple as of the end of September. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter, see the fund's portfolio here. 
Nov 29, 2012 7:42PM

Seems like someone is playing games with sales statistics.  How can you get meaningful data from the 12-week period in which the iPhone 5 was launched and so many existing iPhone owners upgraded?    


The actual press release notes, "The majority of US iPhone 5 sales, 62%, have come from existing Apple owners upgrading to the new device, although Apple has also benefitted from people switching from Android devices (13%), people switching from BlackBerry devices (6%) and a small number of first time smartphone owners."  


As Apple's innovation falls off, people are inclined to try alternatives.  The Samsung Galaxy S 3 will have a steeper new buyer curve over the holidays (in my opinion).

Nov 30, 2012 9:21AM
Nov 30, 2012 11:28AM

I guess something like this is interesting to specific investors....

But most don't trade in and out of Apple or Google...

As far as who's got the best phone, device or apps....


Just seems silly to me, because I just consider it Teenager Buzz....

OMG, what have we become ??

Nov 30, 2012 11:42AM

You know what; I'll bet they could open up a plant in California...


That they could hire a bunch of "old women" to plug a camera into a Iphone...

And pay them $6 p/h...Nice airy, sunny building with free lunch a low med care package...

Coffee breaks every 2 hours in comfortable setting, with an excercise room or computer area.

Free healthcare clinic once a month..Cheap meds.


Just like hiring Greeters at WalMart...Betcha thousands of old women, maybe old men ??

Would do a job like that....Just to get out and about...hmmmmm.

$240 a week....5 days.

Nov 29, 2012 6:49PM

This is a half truth "apple" shill article.  Androids world wide sales and users blow Apple away.  This guy must be talking about new sales in the time period referenced.  Who cares that you sold more this or that quarter, the IP5 came out.

Android is the future and even most tech experts expect MS 8 to overtake Apple one day relagating them to third in overall world smartphone users/platforms. 

Nov 29, 2012 7:15PM
What idiot wrote this article?.....Android has 75% of the global market share, Apple has just 15%, so can Apple be beating android. You people live in Lala land.
Nov 30, 2012 8:39AM
A worthless article. There isn't a race, just two non-American businesses competing to drain more of our dollars. I don't consider an indigenous management team using overseas everything else to be an American company. If you own shares in Apple-- get out of America and see how well you like those other countries' economies.
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