Android Dominates an Unusual Quarter

iOS Share Falls as Apple Customers Delay Purchases

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis of the results from its research on mobile phone operating systems for the calendar quarter that ended September 30, 2014. This analysis features findings about consumer trends in mobile phone operating systems in the US from July-September 2014.

CIRP finds that among two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, Android won a much larger share of new phone activations than iOS. In the quarter, Android accounted for two-thirds of US customer activations (Chart 1).

Chart 1: Operating System Share of US Activations Q3-2014

Android increased its share of new phone buyers significantly, up from 56 percent of activations in the previous quarter. In contrast, iOS decreased from 39 percent of activations in the previous quarter. While we expected Android to improve its share as Apple customers waited for the launch of new iPhones, the magnitude of increase was significant.

Confirming anecdotal accounts, the other operating systems -- Windows and Blackberry, had very small shares. Basic non-smartphones accounted for 3 percent of new phone purchases in the quarter.

With fewer first time smartphone buyers and most former Blackberry owners having abandoned that platform, Apple and Google now need to fight to take customers from each other. This is always a challenging quarter for iOS, since core Apple customers are waiting for the new iPhone models, and we see more buyers switching from iOS to Android than switching from Android to iOS.

CIRP bases its findings on a survey of 500 US subjects, from October 1-13, 2014, that activated a new or used phone in the July-September 2014 period. For additional information, please contact CIRP.