Home / Technology / CIRP: iPhone captures Android, now accounts for 50% of new smartphone activations in the US

CIRP: iPhone captures Android, now accounts for 50% of new smartphone activations in the US

A new report today from analysts at Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) describes that Apple and Google are approaching parity when it comes to new smartphone buyers in the US. According to the data, Android and iOS each accounted for 50% of new smartphone activations during the second calendar quarter of 2021.

“CIRP estimates for customers who bought a new phone in the year ending this quarter, Google Android and Apple iOS each had 50% of the new activations,” say analysts.

This represents a significant victory for Apple, which has generally been behind Android when it comes to activating smartphones. In recent years, Android has generally secured 60% of new smartphone activations in the US, compared to 40% for iOS. In the second calendar quarter of 2021

, however, Apple closed the gap and now splits the market with Android.

Mike Levin, co-founder of CIRP, explained that this is largely going to be loyalty and exchange, two areas where iOS has dominated Android in recent years:

Loyalty and exchange help explain some of the change in the share of new phone activations, with iOS gaining loyalty in a market with minimal exchange. In the last quarter, Apple had an advantage in loyalty, with 93% of previous iPhone owners upgrading to a new iPhone, compared to 88% of Android owners living with Android. Over the years, iOS gained about five percentage points in loyalty, while Android remained flat. This allowed Apple to steadily increase the iOS share of new smartphone activations.

The chart below shows the share of new smartphone activations between Android and iOS for the June quarter over the last 5 years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been emphasizing loyalty and switching in recent years, including new features to make it easier for Android users to switch to the iPhone. During an Apple earnings call earlier this year, Cook said the iPhone 12 spurred the “largest number of upgrades” Apple has ever seen.

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