Holiday cheer seems to have put the smartphone market in a frenzy by making iOS-driven smartphones like the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6s as holiday season favorites.  

The growing popularity of iOS is quite a shift when compared with the market trend for 2014, when the Android OS was more popular than its rival Apple's platform.

The Consumer Intelligence Research Partner, a U.S.-based research firm surveyed 500 U.S. subjects from April 1, 2014 to April 6, 2014, and discovered that there were 53 percent Android users whereas iOS usage was only 43 percent.

According to the latest study conducted by the Kantar Worldpanel, there has been a steady rise in the sale of iOS devices and a decline in Android sales before the 2016 holiday. The study was conducted throughout the United States, Australia, as well as five major markets in Europe, namely Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

"iOS and Android made gains across EU5, largely due to the decline of Windows. The best showing for iOS was in in GB where it was up 9.1 percentage points for the year ending in November 2016," notes the study.

According to market share data detailed by the Kantar Worldpanel, in the United States, Android early holiday sales fell from 60.4 percent in November 2015 to 55.3 percent in November 2016, showing a decline of 5.1 percent in sales figures.

On the other hand, iOS sales have risen from 37.1 percent in November 2015 to 43.5 percent in November 2016, showing a growth of 6.4 percent in sales figures.

The study also showed that the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 6 were the most popular smartphones in the United States at the start of the holiday period. The three Apple smartphones combined together garnered a 31.3 percent share. The fourth and fifth positions were captured by Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge with a total of 28.9 percent smartphone sales.

Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, shared that U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless accounted for nearly 25 percent of all the smartphone sales in the country during Black Friday. This trend had a crucial impact on all major OEMs, including Samsung and Apple.

Android Still Popular In China

Android sales continue to hold its dominance in the Chinese market. Android sales accounted for 79.9 percent in the Chinese market, whereas iOS sales were only 19.9 percent as of November 2016.

Android sales grew by 7.2 percent in China in 2016, whereas iOS sales declined by 5.4 percent when compared with 2015.

Apple always performs well during the holiday season, but Kantar believes that the true demand for the iDevices can only be gauged post this period. Whether the demand for Apple products will "level out" in Q1 2017 remains to be seen.

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