Apple’s iPhone took the U.S. smartphone sales crown for the fourth quarter of 2014 by the slim margin of 0.1%. This is the first time since 2012 that the iPhone took the top spot.
The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch) show Apple’s iPhone wound up with a 47.7% slice of the U.S. smartphone sales pie, while Android fell closely behind with a 47.6% piece of the action. Microsoft’s Windows Phone was left to pick up the crumbs, scraping together a mere 3.8% of sales.
Apple’s razor-thin margin of victory is likely due to both the successful debut of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets, and Apple’s device available at varied price points, says 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.”
Kantar lists the iPhone 6 as the best selling smartphone in the U.S. It also notes that the iPhone’s marketshare grew in Europe by 6.2% for the holiday quarter. Amazon’s share dropped 3.8% overall in Europe, with Italy the only country to show growth for Android.
China was another bright spot for Apple, with sales growing 2.5%, good for a 21.5% market share, due to strong iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales.