The new iPhone 5C and 5S models have helped boost Apple's market share compared with the previous month but have not yet seen the same uplift as when the iPhone 5 was released, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, reporting for the three months to October 2013.
In the United States, the biggest demand for the mid-end 5C model is coming from lower income households. Some 42 percent of iPhone 5C owners earn less than $49,000, compared with just 21 percent for iPhone 5S, the report noted.
The report revealed iPhone 5C customers also tend to be slightly older—at an average of 38 years compared with 34 years for the 5S. In addition, almost half of iPhone 5C owners switched from competitor brands, particularly Samsung and LG, compared with 80 percent of 5S owners who upgraded from a previous iPhone model.
"In almost all markets, the iPhone 5S and 5C releases have given iOS a significant bounce compared to the previous month," Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar, said in a statement. "Generally, Apple's share of the market still remains lower than when the iPhone 5 was released, although this is not wholly unexpected as shoppers tend to react more positively to 'full' releases than incremental improvements such as the 5S and 5C."
Across the pond, mainland Europe remains more challenging for iOS, particularly in markets like Italy and Germany, where handset subsidies are far lower.
The story in Britain is more positive, where iOS sales share is now at 28.7 percent for the last three months, with sales driven by the higher-end 5S model, which has outsold the 5C by 3 to 1 since their release.
"The new releases have led to spectacular results in certain markets," Sunnebo said. "In Japan, where the iPhone is now available via the country's largest carrier NTT DoCoMo, Apple's share hit 76.1 percent during October."
Google's Android platform still holds the lead on market share in the United States, claiming 52.6 percent, while Apple placed second for the period with 40.8 percent, a slide of 6.4 percent.
Microsoft's Windows mobile phone platform saw growth of 2.3 percent when compared with the same period last year, for a total of 4.8 percent market share. Its share in the five largest EU economies is now past 10 percent. Beleaguered BlackBerry's share fell to 0.8 percent from 1.6 percent.
"Momentum for Windows Phone is continuing, although its growth remains reliant on low-end handsets," Sunnebo said. "In Britain, almost three quarters of Nokia Lumia sales in the latest period were low-end devices such as the Lumia 520 and 620—a pattern that is similar across other EU markets."