Android tops, except in U.S., Japan


Apple’s iPhone remained the most popular smartphone among U.S. buyers in the closing months of 2012 while Android handsets were on top worldwide, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported Tuesday.

“At the end of 2012, the global (operating system) picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it experienced over the past year is beginning to slow as easy wins from first-time smartphone buyers begin to reduce,” said Kantar global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo.

Apple iPhones accounted for 51.2 percent of smartphone sales in the United States during the 12-week period ending Dec. 23, according to Kantar.

Smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software made up slightly more than 44 percent of sales while handsets based on Microsoft’s Windows operating system were in a distant third place with 2.6 percent, the report said.

Android smartphones continued to be best-sellers in major markets, including Britain, China, Spain, Australia and Germany, Kantar said. Apple iPhones were also favored in Japan, the report said.

Windows smartphones appeared to be catching on in Europe, with its shares of sales climbing to 5.9 percent in Britain and 13.9 percent in Italy, Kantar said.