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IOS, Android, MetroPCS: News briefs

IOS accounts for more than half of smartphone sales: report
Apple?s iOS mobile operating system topped a 50 percent share of smartphone sales for the first time during the 12 week period ended Nov. 25, 2012, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The data shows that iOS was the top selling smartphone platform sold in the United States during this period with a 53.3 percent share of the market.

The numbers point to the success of Apple?s newest smartphone, the iPhone 5, which became available in the fall, as well as the continued success of older models. Of those who purchased an iPhone in November, 27 percent upgraded from another smartphone OS, 34 percent upgraded from a previous iPhone and 40 percent upgraded to their first smartphone.

During the same period, Android sales share declined 10.9 percent for a 41.9 percent share of the market. Windows held third place with 2.7 percent of smartphones sold.

By wireless carrier, AT&T held onto its position as the top-selling smartphone carrier with 35.4 percent of smartphones sold during the period. Verizon came in second with 31.9 percent of smartphones sold while Sprint held the number three spot with 14.5 percent of sales. Sprint?s sales dropped 5 percent, the largest year-over-year decline for a wireless carrier.

Android smartphones top Europeans? wish lists
European consumers are more likely to buy an Android smartphone during the next 12 months than any other of 22 key consumer electronics products, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

In a review of the four major European markets ? France, Germany, Italy and Britain ? Strategy Analytics found that 19.3 percent of consumers say they are somewhat or very likely to buy an Android smartphone. Portable PCs came in second with 16.4 percent of consumers followed by the iPhone, with 16 percent.

The study also reveals changes in buying intentions over the past six months, with a strong increase in interest in mobile phones in general, particularly in Germany and Britain, taking place. Interest in ereaders has also risen.

At the same time, there has been a decline in interest in buy blu-ray disc players and portable Mac computers.

MetroPCS surprises with a loss of 93K subscribers
Prepaid wireless carrier MetroPCS reported consolidated net subscriber losses of 93 thousand for the fourth quarter and ended the quarter with approximately 8.9 million subscribers. The decline was bigger than analysts had expected, suggesting that prepaid growth may be slowing while competition is growing.

T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS announced plans to merge in the fall. The latest numbers are not expected to affect the deal being finalized.

During the fourth quarter, the wireless carrier also added 866 thousand subscribers, a 29 percent drop compared with the same period in 2011.

MetroPCS continues to build its 4G LTE subscriber base, reaching 2.2 million 4G LTE subscribers in the fourth quarter, an increase of 117 percent from the third quarter of 2012.

Churn for the fourth quarter was 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent in the previous quarter and from 3.7 percent in the year ago quarter.