The launch of the new iPhone 4S in October had an “enormous” effect on the proportion of US smartphone owners who opted for the Apple device, according to new figures from Nielsen.
This trend has allowed Apple to claw back some US smartphone market share from its Android-based rivals.
Among recent purchasers – defined as those who have bought a new device within the last three months - 44.5 percent of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1 percent in October. Furthermore, 57 percent of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they opted to buy the new iPhone 4S.
Apple claims it sold 4 million iPhone 4S units in the first weekend of sales.
Android continues to hold the overall lead in the US market, with 46.9 percent of all smartphone owners surveyed in Q4 2011 reporting they have an Android-based device, ahead of Apple (44.5 percent) and RIM (4.5 percent).
According to Nielsen, smartphone users now account for 46 percent of all US mobile consumers – a proportion that is growing quickly. The firm noted that 60 percent of those who acquired a new device within the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.