Google Android smartphones may still dominate the mobile marketplace but brisk iPhone 5 sales have helped iOS overtake Android devices for the current sales period.  In a study conducted by Kantar Worldpanel the research firm found that Apple smartphone sales accounted for a 48.1% market cap while Android devices controlled 46.7% of smartphone sales.

The study also found that iPhone sales largely came from loyal customers with 62% of sales from existing iPhone owners. 13% of iPhone buyers were transplants from the Google Android OS. In more mounting trouble for the Blackberry OS the study also revealed that 6% of buyers made the switch away from Research in Motion powered devices.

iPhone 5 Sales Push Apple to Top of Market

The biggest win for Apple may be that 92% of respondents said their next device would be powered by Apple. It should be noted however that most new device buyers tend to pledge their loyalty to their current OS before they have had a chance to use the device.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel notes:

“The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods … This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

While American consumers have flocked to the iOS based platform, Apple maintains only a 21% marketshare in Europe compared to Androids 64% share.

In some regions Apple has continued to see drastically lower sales volumes, specifically in Germany where the company watched marketshare fall by 5.1 percent.

Apple’s recent spike in sales via the iPhone 5 come at a time when the device has been less well received than devices that came before it. Apple has received complaints because of the devices awful mapping software, lack of NFC and failure to provide other popular cellular options.

[Image via iclarified]