While CIRP’s survey included only 500 users and thus may include a significant margin of uncertainty, the data shows Apple’s U.S. activation market share increasing from 28 percent in the July-September 2014 quarter to 50 percent in the October-December quarter. The significant jump was clearly fueled by strong consumer interest in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
“The strength of the September 2014 launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus fueled Apple’s dominance in US mobile phone sales this quarter,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and CoFounder of CIRP. “Apple had virtually double the sales of Samsung, and five times that of LG. No other brand accounted for as much as 5% of US sales.”
Most of the iPhone activations in the survey came via loyal iPhone users who upgrade from earlier versions. While Apple increased its customer base, Samsung and LG didn’t fare as well, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners activating a new phone making the move to an iPhone.
Apple can likely expect sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to continue to be strong into early 2015, as a larger number of consumers say they intend to buy an iPhone in the next three months.
A 451 Research’s ChangeWave December survey shows more than half of early adopters plan to make the move to the iPhone when they buy a new phone. The number is down from the previous quarter, however that can likely be attributed to the expectations of the coming of the new iPhones last quarter.
“This is the highest level of Apple demand ever recorded in our smartphone survey three months after a major new release,” said Andy Golub of 451 Research.