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Android Ousts iOS As Top Smartphone Platform in the U.S.

Google’s Android OS has snagged the top spot when it comes to smartphone sales in the U.S., according to a new study. After growing its market share by more than 6 percent during recent months, Android now accounts for little more than half of all handset sales in the United States.

Between mid-November and February, Android bumped its share of U.S. smartphone sales up to 51.2 percent, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. This is a noticeable jump from the 45 percent of the North American market share it owned during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS platform dropped to second place as its share of U.S. phones dropped from 47 percent to 43.5 percent. Apple’s bitter rival Samsung, which plans to launch three flagship smartphones this year, may be largely responsible for Android’s climb to the top. Earlier this year figures from comScore showed that Samsung accounts for 26.9 percent of all smartphones in the United States.

According to the Kantar study, which surveyed 240,000 mobile phone users, 15 percent of Samsung buyers previously owned an HTC smartphone, while 14 percent owned an LG smartphone and 9 percent owned a BlackBerry device.

“It’s apparent that Samsung is successful at capturing users from across the competitor set and not just gaining from their own loyalists, (albeit loyality towards Samsung has also grown),” Mary-Ann Parlato, analyst and Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in the report.

As for the rest of the smartphone world, Windows Phone accounted for 4.1 percent of sales, BlackBerry comprised 0.7 percent of sales and Nokia’s Symbian platform fell in last place at 0.1 percent.