Home Mobility iOS growth for early 2016 holiday sales, Android rules in China

iOS growth for early 2016 holiday sales, Android rules in China

Kantar has reported that iOS is making gains in Australia and Europe’s big five markets while Android remains "dominant" in China.

The latest smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Android sales "declined in the US, GB, and France, as iOS continued to make gains across most regions in the three months ending November 2016".

For Android, "this marks the sixth consecutive period of decline in the US, at 55.3% of all smartphone sales, down from 60.4% in the same period a year earlier. In Urban China, iOS was down year-on-year at 19.9%, but continued strong period-on-period growth with sales from iPhone 7".

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s were the three most popular smartphones in the US at the beginning of the holiday period, for a combined 31.3% share. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were the fourth and fifth best-selling phones in the US, with Samsung capturing 28.9% of smartphone sales.

In Australia, Kantar says the latest shares of purchasing leading up to the holiday season for the three months ending November 2016 showed "iOS growing significantly by 5.9% to 46.4% compared with the same period a year ago".

Kantar says that this growth is "being driven by Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with the iPhone 7 keeping its number one position as top handset sold, whose share of all smartphones purchased increasing from 11.5% in Oct 2016 to 18.9% in November 2016"’

Samsung fans will be pleased to know that the second top-selling handset was the Galaxy S7, with its share at 8.1%.

The Aussie stats continue, showing that even though "Samsung commands the lion’s share of the Android market, its share is down compared to a year ago by 2.7% to 59.4%, with the recent period showing some welcome share growth for the smaller Android brands, such as Huawei at 3.3% (growth largely seen in the mid-priced tier $401- $700), ZTE at 2.6% and Oppo at 1.6%, with these brands growing in the lower-priced tier (handsets bought $400 or less). Buyers of these brands being largely Males with 58% aged 35+".

As for the US, Kantar’s consumer insight director, Lauren Guenveur, said: “Verizon booked nearly a quarter of all US smartphone sales during the Black Friday period, playing a vital role for all brands, including Apple and Samsung.

“Buyers were motivated by Verizon’s promotions on both Apple and Samsung’s top phones, including offers of free iPhone 7, 7 Plus and Galaxy S7 phones after trade-in and purchase requirements were met.”

And what of Google’s new Pixel phones?

We are told that, although Android decreased in the US over the past year, "the brand new Pixel phone by Google made strong gains, rising to 1.3% of sales in the three months ending November 2016, with more than half of that business done through Verizon".

Android continues dominance in China

In China, Kantar notes that "iOS was down year-on-year to a 19.9% share in Urban China, dropping from 25.3% in the same period in 2015. However, growth for iOS was up 2.8% over the previous three-month period, driven by sales of iPhone 7".

Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Asia, said: “Nearly 80% of all smartphones sold in Urban China during the three months ending November 2016 were Android, as local brands continued to dominate the market.

“Huawei represented 25% of all sales, but its share declined 3.1 percentage points from the three-month period ending October 2016, marking only its second period of decline in more than two years.”

Kantar tells us that "Oppo posted strong growth in China with 12.9% of smartphone sales, signaling the first potential shift in the market since Huawei overtook both Apple and Xiaomi in the second quarter of 2015. Importantly for iOS and Apple, iPhone 7 became the best-selling device in Urban China at 6.6%, pushing Oppo R9 to second place at 4.7%".

Apple market share mostly positive in big five European markets (EU5) – Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain

iOS and Android made gains across the EU5, largely due to the decline of Windows. The best showing for iOS was in in GB where it was up 9.1 percentage points for the year ending in November 2016.

Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director for Kantar Europe, explained that “In the EU5 countries, Android accounted for 72.4% of smartphone sales during this period, with iOS at 24.6%, a strong year-on-year uptick for both ecosystems as Windows’ share declined to 2.8%. For Android, this represented a 2.8 percentage point decline from the October period, while strong sales of iPhone 7 boosted iOS.

“The holiday period is always strong for Apple, but it remains to be seen if demand for the latest devices will level out in the first quarter of 2017.”

Kantar Jan OS 

Kantar's interactive visual dataset tool for the figures above can be played with here.  


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.