A Needham & Co. analyst has nice words for Apple fans, quoting IDC data showing Android losing ground to iOS in the US. Despite Android being the leading smartphone platform in the US with the first quarter market share pegged at a whopping 49.5 percent (versus 29.5 percent for Apple), that was a loss for Google which in the previous quarter controlled 52.4 percent of the US market for smartphones.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt pointed out that this was Android’s “first sequential loss ever in any region of the world”. The author also quoted Charlie Wolf’s Monday note to clients:

In our opinion, this is just the beginning of Android’s share loss in the US. The migration of subscribers to the iPhone on the Verizon network should accelerate this fall when Apple coordinates the launch of iPhone 5 on the GSM and CDMA networks. The iPhone could also launch on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.

In other words, Wolf writes, the simultaneous AT&T and Verizon launch of the iPhone 5 in September should have substantial effects on iPhone sales compared to past launches which, despite tremendous media blitz, were limited only to people on the AT&T network. And John Paczkowski writes for All Things D that Verizon customers are probably holding off their Android purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5 launch.

The author also quotes Wolf who argues that “It’s reasonable to assume that a material percentage of Verizon subscribers who plan to switch were content to wait until the iPhone 5 arrived later this year”, the decision admittedly based in thinking that it’s better to wait a few more months to get the latest iPhone hardware than pay a $350 early termination fee to switch to an iPhone 4. Not surprisingly, Asian manufacturers are reporting a drop in Apple’s orders for the second quarter, suggesting that the company is winding down iPhone 4 manufacturing as it preps an iPhone 5 ramp up ahead of a Fall launch.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com

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