Is Apple Stealing Android Users?

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have gotten a string of bad news about its products recently, but according to a new survey, its iOS platform continues to be the market leader in the U.S. and is stealing users away from rivals Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).

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According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data, Apple’s iOS accounted for 51.2 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales for the 12-week period ending December 23, 2012. This represented a growth of more than 7 percent from the 44.9 percent over the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, Android’s share fell from 44.8 percent in 2011 to 44.2 percent, while RIM suffered an even bigger decline — falling from 6.1 percent of smartphone sales to 1.1 percent.

“Apple’s continual improvement is thanks to both the iPhone 5 and older models attracting various customer groups, from repeat Apple buyers, first time smartphone buyers and those coming from other smartphone brands,” Kantar’s Mary-Ann Parlato said in a statement. According to Parlato, 36 percent of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year, including 19 percent from Android users. That was up from 9 percent Android converts in 2011.

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