Apple Takes Razor Slim Victory Over Samsung In U.S. Market Share According To Kantar

Apple absolutely made the right decision to upsize the display on its iPhone with the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The evidence is everywhere, from the generally favorable reviews to staggering sales figures and record busting quarters. It's also in the market share data -- for the first time in two years, iOS hopped in front of Android in the U.S.

Actually, it's more like a virtual tie, with iOS snagging 47.7 percent of the market and Android ever-so-slightly behind at 47.6 percent. But even if you don't want to concede that a 0.1 percent difference constitutes bragging rights, it's still a significant development. Why? Well, the numbers painted a different story a year ago.

Kantar OS Share
Source: Kantar Worldpanel

For the final quarter of 2013, Android was out in front with a 50.7 percent share of the smartphone OS market in the U.S., keeping Apple at arm's length away with iOS sitting at 43.9 percent. So in just a year's time, Apple closed the gap and even nudged slightly ahead, by a hair.

"In the U.S., Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1 percent margin," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."

As we've said before, the late Steve Jobs was flat out wrong about consumers not wanting a bigger size iPhone. It was a rare miscalculation in consumer interest on his part, and now that the iPhone 6 series has been on the market for a few months, there's enough data to prove it.

iPhone6 34FL 3 Color Spaced Homescreen PRINT

According to Kantar, the iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the U.S. during the holiday quarter, and also the most popular smartphone to give as a gift. Samsung came in second with its Galaxy S5, which also boasts a comparatively large display.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, it's a two-OS fight in the U.S. Windows actually lost share year-over-year, going from 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 3.8 percent in 2014.