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Apple takes smartphone lead

Top of the US chart in Q4

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Apple topped the US smartphone chart in the final three months of 2011, pushing past all its Android rivals. Well, just - and it's losing ground in the tablet arena.

Ask Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, a market watcher, how much of the US smartphone market Apple took in Q4 2011, and it'll put the figure at 44.9 per cent, Reuters reports.

A crushing blow to Android? Not quite - its market share fell, yes, but only to 44.8 per cent. That puts them neck-and-neck in our book.

Indeed, as Nielsen, another market watcher, revealed last week, among new smartphone owners, Android retained the top slot in Q4 2011.

During that period, Android's share to 46.9 per cent - ahead of Apple's 44.5 per cent. Nielsen's numbers come from interviews with consumers rather than shipment figures.

Still, it's a market share reduction of 5.2 per cent - in Q3 2011, Android accounted for exactly half of the market - and comes at a time when the Google OS was supposed to be steadily increasing its market share.

Google was hit relatively likely by the iPhone 4S' success. Microsoft, by contrast, saw its market share plunge below two per cent in nine major territories, the research firm said, including the US, the UK, Australia and much of Western Europe.

In the tablet space, Android increased its global market share, from 29 per cent to 39 per cent, market watcher Strategy Analytics said, those ten percentage points coming straight off Apple's. ®

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