Apple vs Google: iPhone and Android activations now split evenly in the US

Apple vs Google: iPhone and Android activations now split evenly in the US
Google's Android and Apple's iOS have dominated the US smartphone market for the past decade and new research shows that there’s no longer a clear trend towards either, with demand for new devices split evenly.

Android and iPhone account for 50% of smartphone activations each 

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) reports that Android and iOS each accounted for 50% of new US smartphone activations during the second quarter, which ended in June 2021.

Five years ago, the split of new smartphone activations in the US showed a clear trend towards Google's Android. It accounted for almost 70% of total purchases at the time, whereas the iPhone represented a little over 30%.

Apple’s share has surged in recent years. It reached a peak of 50% in the second quarter of 2020 following the second-generation iPhone SE launch and these latest numbers indicate that demand remains stable despite the lack of new models.

A big part of Apple’s recent success in the US comes down to brand loyalty. CIRP claims that 93% of iPhone owners chose to stick with Apple in Q2 2021, compared with 88% of Android users.

Long-term, iPhone loyalty has only grown stronger. The data shared today shows that loyalty to Apple has risen by five percentage points in five years, whereas Android loyalty has remained flat.

Maintaining the 50/50 split moving forward could prove difficult for Apple. After all, it’s essentially the iPhone against every other Android manufacturer selling smartphones in the US.

But there are some things working in Apple’s favor. For one, the brand is currently experiencing an upgrade supercycle that’s expected to continue beyond 2021, meaning iPhone 13 sales should be strong.

At the same time, LG is weeks away from permanently exiting the smartphone business. The move means less competition for Apple. Some customers could also be tempted to switch to iPhone, taking its share even higher.

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