Tuesday, 06 September 2016 19:01

iPhone market share drops in China, Japan, Android grows Featured


iOS market share dipped significantly in China and Japan, while holding its own with slight growth in the US, according to a new global report. Meanwhile, Android market share continued to grow in most markets except the US where it showed a slight decline.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows strong year-on-year growth for Android in all regions except the US where it contracted slightly.

There was more subdued growth for iOS in the three months ending July 2016 in most regions, with a severe contraction in China and a significant drop in Japan.

iOS performed best in the US and the UK, as well as France, Italy, Spain and Australia. However, in Germany growth completely stalled.

The figures show that Android has built or is in the process of building a dominant market share in most regions. iOS continues to maintain a healthy slice of the pie in the US, UK, Japan and Australia but continues to have a much lower market share in all other countries.

So, let’s start with Australia.

Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia, said that the three months ending to July 2016 "shows iOS share up slightly to 35.2%, with Android enjoying a more substantial increase of four percentage points to 60.2%".

This is "driven largely by purchasing of older HTC and Sony models (shares up to 6.7% and 4.1% respectively), although HTC’s new premium HTC 10 does feature in its best sellers this period".

While Samsung commands the lion’s share of the Android market, Timpson stated that "its share peaked at 39.3% in the 3m/e May 2016 period on the back of its newly-launched Galaxy S7/S7 Edge models so that share of total smartphone in the latest period is down to 33.2%".

Kantar also notes that "recent periods have shown constant growth for 'Other Brands' in Australia, operating on the Android platform and, whilst share for this group is still up year-on-year from 9.4% in July 2015 to 14.4% in July 2016, this is lower than the periods ending May and June 2016".

Kantar believes that "as Telstra, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel report strong share performances, as does relative newcomer to this market Oppo".

At the model level, Kantar notes "the iPhone 6s remains the best-seller, although share has dipped on previous periods and any growth for Apple is driven by the iPhone SE which now takes 5th place, driven by positive reviews and good contract deals".

Additionally, the iPhone 5s "has seen a sudden surge in the latest period, driven by great deals on the handset cost, in the run up to Apple’s new iPhone launch this week".

So, what about the US, Europe, China and elsewhere the world?

Well, in the US, Android posted a year-on-year decline in sales of 0.6 percentage points to 65%.

Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: “Ahead of Apple’s event this week and anticipated new iPhone models, we see that the iPhone SE has meant some success for iOS, helping it achieve year-on-year growth across a number of regions.

“In the US, iOS accounted for 31.3% of smartphone sales in the three months ending July 2016, a 1.2 percentage point increase compared to the same period a year ago.

“The iPhone 6s remains the top-selling device in the market with an 11% share, something we expect to continue through the launch of the next iPhone, with price reductions incentivising people to upgrade their current phones even if they might not feel a need for the ‘latest and greatest.

“Interestingly,” Guenveur added, “the iPhone 6, which is approaching the end of its expected lifecycle, is still the sixth best-selling phone in the US, achieving 4.1% of smartphone sales in the latest period.”

Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, reported: “In Great Britain, iOS achieved a 5.2 percentage point increase vs a year ago, to account for 38% of smartphone sales in the three months ending July 2016.

“This is the strongest growth in share since the three-month period ending September 2015. Android also posted growth, with 57.3% of smartphone sales, up from 54.4% in the previous year.

“In the three months ending June, although iOS returned to growth in EU5, it still had slight share losses in Italy and Spain. However, during the three months ending July, iOS share increased in both markets to 12.7% and 9.2%, respectively. Android also continued to achieve a share increase, while the largest year-on-year losses were experienced by Windows.”

Timpson said: “In urban China, Android accounted for 85% of smartphone sales in the three months ending July 2016, a record high for Android in this region. Huawei also continued to expand its share to reach 27.6%.

“Xiaomi is in a solid second position with 18.5% of smartphones sales, followed by Apple in third place at 14.3%.

“For Apple and iOS, this represents a continued period of decline that started in the three month period ending February 2016. However, 33% of the current iOS installed base owns an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, representing a large opportunity for iOS to return to growth in the coming months as the latest iPhone is released and consumers contemplate the upgrade,” Tamsin concluded.

Here’s Kantar’s chart with more detail.  

kantar stats sept 16


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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.

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