Wednesday, 11 May 2016 16:28

Android growth in EU highest in over 2 years, Samsung S7 selling well Featured


Apple’s iOS share has remained steady as the Android Empire’s growth has grown, but it is at Windows Phone’s expense in Europe’s big 5 markets. 

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months ending March 2016 shows Android continuing to grow sales across the EU5, US, and Urban China.

Kantar reports ‘solid gains in the EU5 (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), up 7.1% points to 75.6%. In the US, Android share increased 7.3% points to 65.5%, and in China, it rose nearly 6% points to over 77%.’

In Australia, Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia shared that: 'Android share of smartphone purchasing for the 3 m/e March 2016 enjoys another significant increase, up from 53% in March 2015 to 60.1% this period, with iOS share down by 2.5% points to 35.3%.

'Sales of Samsung devices see a welcome increase to 34.4%, with the gap narrowing between Samsung and Apple. Whilst the iPhone 6S remains the No.1 selling model, Samsung devices take 6 of the top 10 this period, with strong sales of the Galaxy S5 and S6 models and, of course, early sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

'Other brands driving the growth of Android [in Australia] are Huawei, Sony, Telstra, ZTE and Alcatel, with Huawei now taking 3rd place in the total smartphone brand ranking at 4.9%, or 8.1% of the Android market, driven by sales of its mid-priced G8 model. Good deals on the plans, particularly those offered by Vodafone, have so far been the key driving force for consumers purchasing this smartphone, with features such as the battery life, the 5.5” screen size and the durability of the phone the primary reasons for choice of handset.'

Lauren Guenveur, mobile analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said: “This is the strongest growth for Android across the EU5 in more than two years.

“What’s more, the growth is coming not just from one or two players, but from different brands and ecosystems, varying from region to region.”

In the EU5, Kantar reports that ‘iOS share declined from 20.2% to 18.9% in the three months ending March 2016.’

Meanwhile ‘Windows phone sales dropped five percentage points to become 4.9% of overall smartphone sales in the region,’ and ‘nearly 7% (6.6%) of new Android customers came from Windows, vs. just 3.3% from iOS.’

Among new iOS buyers, 2.6% migrated from Windows.

Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe said: “For those switching from Windows, Android has offered a better user experience, with a variety of brands and models across a multitude of price points.

“In Italy and France, the strongest Windows Phone markets for a time, nearly 10% of Windows mobile users moved to Android in the three months ending March 2016. What’s more, they opted for brands like Huawei, Wiko, and Asus, featuring mid-range devices that represent good value for the money.

“Contrast that with Great Britain, where Android growth is still dominated by Samsung, and driven in this period by mid-range devices like the J5 and A5.”

Android’s gains in the US came from increased sales by ecosystem partners Samsung, Motorola, and LG.

Guenver said: “Although it was available for only a few weeks during this sales period, the Samsung Galaxy S7 was the fifth best-selling device in the three months ending March 2016, capturing 4.2% of sales.

“The Galaxy S6 also performed well, due to price reductions before the S7’s release. Motorola experienced higher sales, particularly with Verizon, and grew to 9.8% of the smartphone market, up from 6.9% a year previously.”

Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia said: “In Urban China, iOS continued to decline to 21.1% in the three months ending March 2016, down from 26.1% in the same period a year ago.

“Android had its best year-on-year growth since the three-month period ending October 2014, moving up 5.9% points year-on-year to 77.7%.

“Huawei continued to expand, reaching its highest purchase share so far, at 24.6%. This has been driven by the high-end Mate 8 and the value-tier Honor 5X. Oppo, traditionally known as a value-tier brand, reached 6.5% of smartphone sales, increasing most significantly in the ¥2,000 to <¥3,000 price range, overtaking Samsung and Xiaomi.”

More below, including Kantar's Smartphone OS percentage chart, please read on!

Guenveur added: “In EU5, share growth from the Samsung Galaxy S7 – expected to be one of the most popular phones of the year – has not yet occurred. As the impact of the S7 materializes, it may change the nature and path of the Android market.

“Android share could also be negatively affected by high demand for the Apple iPhone SE. iPhone SE sales will be particularly important in China, where success in the mid-tier will determine the top player in the region. These factors should play out further in the next quarter,” she noted.

For details of Kantar’s statement and blog post that the Galaxy S7 sold well in its first month of sales, please click here.

Here’s Kantar’s Smartphone OS Sales Share percentage chart:


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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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