iPhone 4S Turns the Tide against Android in US Smartphone Market

A recent study reveals that the introduction of Apple's latest iPhone has caused a significant shift within the US smartphone market.

The research by Nielsen focusing on the last quarter of 2012, shows that in almost two months the huge difference between Android's market share and iOS has almost vanished.

The two rivals started the third quarter of 2011 a significant distance from one another, with Android's share at 61.6% and Apple's operating system with less than half of this amount (26%). By the end of November iOS had climbed to 43% - at Google's platform expense, as Android only accounted for 47% of US market share.

When it comes to OS share of all current smartphone owners, Android is still ahead of iPhone with 46.3% to 30%. This long-term picture is turned on its head in December, with 44.5% of new smartphone buyers choosing an iPhone, compared to just 25.1% of smartphone customers opting for Apple in October.

Among the new iPhone owners, 57% of them bought the latest model rather than the less expensive iPhone 4, or even the free (on contract) iPhone 3GS.

Meanwhile, smartphone penetration (as opposed to feature phones) is continually growing according to the Nielsen report, showing that 60% of customers in Q4 had purchased a smartphone, over a low-end basic handset.