iPhones accounted for 40% of the U.S. smartphone market in 2015

Parks Associates has released new mobile research showing that 86% of U.S. broadband households now own a smartphone. And the iPhone accounted for 40% of the U.S. smartphone market in 2015.

The smartphone markets in European nations, like in the U.S., have become mature and highly competitive, according to the research group. Among broadband households in Western Europe, 76% in the U.K., 82% in Germany, 78% in France, and 90% in Spain own a smartphone.

"Apple remains the dominant smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., but Samsung is catching up," said Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "Apple controls 40% of the smartphone market, while Samsung has 31% and LG is the next closest rival with 10%.”

The research, 360 View: Mobility & the App Economy, shows one-third of Apple iPhone owners still have a model that is more than two years old, compared to 30% of Samsung phone owners. Forty-five percent of all U.S. broadband households wait two years to upgrade their smartphone.

"Operators are pulling out all the tricks to encourage phone upgrades," Wang said. "The once-familiar two-year contract, which tied consumers to a two-year phone upgrade cycle, is gradually fading. U.S. carriers started to do away with two-year contracts in 2012, and by the third quarter of 2015, only 51% of mobile consumers had a contract, down from almost 70% at the end 2011.”

360 View: Mobility & the App Economy tracks mobile consumer loyalty, subscriber expectations, and trends in mobile data consumption and Wi-Fi usage, as well as the impact of new mobile service programs on mobile consumer loyalty. The research shows T-Mobile leads in enrollment for early upgrade programs, with almost one-third of its customers enrolled in the company's early handset upgrade program. AT&T is second, with more than one-fourth of their customers enrolled.

"A customer-centric approach has returned to the mobile service market in the U.S., thanks to T-Mobile's maverick 'uncarrier' moves," Wang said. "T-Mobile's strategy has forced AT&T and Verizon to re-examine how they design and market services to consumers. They have responded with moves that either match T-Mobile's initiatives or benefit their customers in a different way.”

Additional mobile research from Parks Associates shows:

  • More than 70% of smartphone users now watch short streaming video clips, and more than 40% watch long streaming videos on their device.
  • Almost 40% of smartphone users use the voice recognition function; among iPhone users, more than half have used Siri.
  • Other advanced smartphone activities include the following:
  • 36% use Wi-Fi calling
  • 35% stream music from the phone to speakers
  • 26% use a payment app for purchases at a retail location
  • 24% stream video from the phone to a second screen (e.g., TV, PC, etc.).