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Apple Is Poised for iPhone 'Spike'

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG MSFT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For some time now, Wall Street and a large portion of the the media have been concerned that Apple (AAPL) is drastically losing market share to Google's (GOOG) Android in the smartphone market. Judging by the figures from one research firm, that may not be entirely accurate.

Kantar Worldpanel showed that Apple continues to dominate in the U.S., with 39.3% of the market. That market share is poised to jump considerably following the recent release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Last week, Apple announced it sold more than 9 million units of the new phones, prompting many analysts on Wall Street to raise price targets and lift earnings estimates, as the story continues to unfold.

Going around the world, Kantar noted that Apple and Android have largely the same market share in Japan, with 48.6% and 47.4%, respectively, but Apple's recently signed deal with NTT DoComo (DCM) should further boost Apple in Japan.

In other markets, perhaps surprisingly, is the strength seen in Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone. Windows Phone accounted for 9.2% of the five major European markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), the highest it has ever been, and is 100 basis behind Apple's iOS in Germany.

"Android remains the top operating system across Europe with a 70.1% market share, but its dominant position is increasingly threatened as growth trails behind both Windows and iOS," the research firm noted.

Windows Phone continues to gain traction, and according to Kantar, reached 10.8% and 12% of the French and Great Britan markets, the first time it's reached double digit percentages in two prominent markets.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, noted that Nokia's popular 520 and 620 handsets are driving the growth, particularly toward the middle and lower ends of the smartphone market.

"These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16-to-24-year-olds and 35-to-49-year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone," Sunnebo said.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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