NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In case you couldn't tell by just looking around at the smartphones people are using, new numbers reveal just how popular and pervasive Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) ReportiPhone 6 and 6 Plus have become.
According to the latest global sales figures compiled by Kantar Worldwide,Apple's market share has grown across the U.S., Europe and China while Google's (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report Android smartphone share dropped in this country for the first time since September 2013.
In the U.S., Apple reached 47.4% of smartphone sales in the three months ended in November, compared with 43.1% in the same period in 2013. According to Carolina Milanesi, Kantar's research chief, "The iPhone 6 was the best selling phone in the three months through November 2014, capturing 19% of smartphone sales."
The survey found Verizon (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report and AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report made up 57% of iOS mobile sales in the U.S. while Verizon and T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get T-Mobile US, Inc. Report were the top two carriers for Android, accounting for 33.7% of all Android smartphones sold.
"A decline in Android market share does not necessarily translate into bad news for all the ecosystem's players," said Milanesi.
"The choice of brands and devices within the ecosystem empowers consumers to drive different fortunes for the players in it," she added. In the three months ended in November, Samsung (SSNLF) particularly felt the pressure and saw its market share decline across Europe and in the US. By contrast, Motorola's share grew thanks to the refresh of the Moto X and Moto G handsets.
In Europe, Android continued as the dominant mobile OS with a nearly 70% market share, 3.2% lower than the same period in 2013. In Britain, Kantar found Apple's market share gains, triggered by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, continued into November when it reached 42.5% of British smartphone sales, up from 30.3% a year earlier. The sales increases came mainly at the expense of Android.
Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar's strategic insight director for Europe, said he believes the "longer the new iPhone models are on the market the more their appeal will extend beyond Apple's loyal customers. For now customer switching from Android to iOS remains stable at 18%."
In urban China, Android retained its leading position with a market share of 80.4%. Xiaomi remains the biggest contributor to Android's success, averaging 30.2% of sales in the three months ended in November. That translates to a huge 18% rise from 2013. Apple's share of the smartphone market in urban China rose 18.1% from 17% a year earlier. China Mobile remained Apple's main distribution channel accounting for 63% of Apple's overall sales in that country.
Overall, Kantar found smartphone penetration had reached 58% in the U.S. and an even higher 65% across Europe's big five economies (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain).
"While die-hard featurephone owners state they are not planning to buy a smartphone in the next 12 months, they might not have a choice," Milanesi concluded. Forty-seven percent of featurephones owners looking to change their current device in the next six months in the U.S. and 35% across Europe's top five aren't planning to upgrade to a smartphone.
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's Senior Technology Correspondent
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.