Apple’s iOS grows globally except in China


iOS marketshare growth in the US continues in spite of Apple’s weaker iPhone sales report

The latest smartphone operating system data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has revealed that in the first quarter of 2017, and despite an Apple earnings report that did not meet Wall Street’s expectations for iPhone sales, the company continued to make year on year share gains across most markets except urban China.

The greatest increase for iOS came in Great Britain with 40.4% of smartphone sales, an increase of 5.6 percentage points, and in the US with 38.9% of smartphone sales, an increase of 5.2 percentage points year on year.

“The first quarter of 2017 produced the lowest iOS share in China since the second quarter of 2014 with 12.4% of smartphone sales. Android continued to make year on year gains with 87.2% of smartphone sales,” said Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “For iOS, this represents an 8.6 percentage point drop from the first quarter of 2016. At the same time, iPhone 7 remained the best selling device in urban China with 3.8% of a market that has become increasingly fragmented.”

Reported Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia: “As a percentage of Android sales, Huawei continued to dominate in urban China at 36%. Oppo, which took the Chinese market by storm in 2016, has become the second largest Android brand with 13% of sales. Samsung fell to sixth place behind local Chinese vendors Xiaomi, Meizu, and Vivo, at just 5% of sales. Oppo’s strength is in its brick and mortar presence, which accounts for 86% of their smartphone sales. This contrasts with most other brands in the market who all make at least a third of their sales online, except for Vivo.”

In Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (EU5), Android accounted for 76.3% of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2017, nearly on par with a year earlier at 75.6%. iOS posted a 1.9 percentage point gain to reach 20.7% of smartphone sales.

“Across EU5, Chinese brands have grown over the past year to account for 22% of smartphone sales,” said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. “Huawei, the second largest Android brand across France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, has also started to make its presence known in Great Britain, where it has historically struggled. Huawei accounted for 6.3% of smartphone sales in Great Britain in the first quarter of 2017, an all-time high, making it the third largest Android brand in that market behind Samsung and Sony.”

In the US, Android accounted for 59.2% of smartphone sales, compared to 63.4% a year earlier, while iOS captured 38.9% of sales, up year on year from 33.7%. The drop in Android share has been driven largely by lower sales of Samsung and Moto phones, the largest and third largest Android-based brands in the market.

“While Chinese vendors are enjoying growth in places like EU5, Latin America, and India, the same cannot be said in the US, which remains dominated by Apple (39%), Samsung (30%), and LG (12%),” Guenveur said. “The first quarter 2017 decline in Samsung smartphone sales was likely due to buyers anticipating the April 21 release of the new Samsung Galaxy S8. We expect to have launch results for the S8 within the next 60 days. We should also learn if the S8 will overcome Samsung’s troubles with the Note 7, and whether the S8 will push the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus out of the top-selling spot.”


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