Wednesday, 27 January 2016 22:11

Kantar OS stats: Apple leads as top brand in US, China but Android grows in US, Europe

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The ongoing OS wars between iOS and Android continues around the world, while Windows Mobile loses share in most territories.

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the December 2015 quarter shows Android’s steady growth continuing in the U.S. and in Europe’s big five markets where Android reached 59% and 71% respectively. Europe’s big five markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said: “Now more than ever it is interesting to highlight the difference in performance of iOS versus Apple.

“As a vendor, Apple was able to return to the top of the leader boards in the U.S. and China, while iOS has struggled to return to the market share it saw in 2014 across a number of markets, especially in the U.S.

“Apple loyalty in the U.S. is at its highest since 2012, reinforcing the fact that customer retention is not an issue. However, customer acquisition from Android has gone from 13% in 4Q14 to 11% in 4Q15, and the contribution that first-time smartphone buyers make to Apple overall sales numbers went from 20% to 11% over that same period.”

Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia said: “In urban China, Apple regained its title of most-sold smartphone brand with a share of 27% and had the top three models in that market.

“Huawei remained the top seller within the Android ecosystem as it captured 34% of sales. Xiaomi is now a distant second in the ranking at 10 percentage points below Huawei.”

Milanesi added that: “The U.S. market continues to be very competitive as smartphone penetration reached 65% among mobile phone users and 84% of overall mobile phone sales.

“The pool of available new buyers is shrinking and Android’s wider price range helps them grab late adopters looking for their first smartphone. During the quarter, 31% of Android buyers upgraded from a feature phone, only slightly lower than the 34% recorded in the same period of 2014.

“This trend is impacting vendors within the Android ecosystem as brands with more price competitive offerings, such as Huawei, LG, ZTE and Alcatel, are growing in market share at the expense of brands such as Samsung and HTC.

Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe said: “In Europe’s big five markets, iOS share grew considerably quarter-over-quarter, but sales were not enough to show year-over-year growth.

“Once again, Android share was boosted by a strong performance in the more price-conscious markets of Spain and Italy. Android also recorded year-over-year growth in Great Britain for the first time in the course of 2015 as Samsung, LG and Huawei all grew share.”

Milanesi said: “As consumers’ excitement about smartphones continues to wane and as mature markets approach saturation, vendors are seeking other ways to drive growth and margins.

“Yet, smartphones are not going anywhere anytime soon, and will play an important part in what is to come, from VR to wearables to the connected home. Vendors who want to remain in this business must continue to evolve and offer more compelling services and features that drive engagement or face the risk of becoming irrelevant in the wider ecosystem smartphones are enabling.”

Tamsin Timpson added some detail for the Australia market, noting: “The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the Dec 2015 quarter shows strong growth for Android continuing in Australia, where the OS reached 53.5%, up 9.8% on the same period a year ago.”

Timpson’s comments continue below, please read on:

Timpson continued: “iOS share is down year on year from 45.1% to 39.6%, however, has grown 3%pts since last quarter on the back of the iPhone 6s - the overriding reason for choosing this phone is ‘quality of the camera’, followed by ‘size of the screen’. Samsung share grows year on year from 27% to 30%, however, down 4.4%pts compared to last quarter.

“The iPhone 6s was the top selling device in the 3 months to Dec 2015 with its share making up 16.5% of smartphone sales - however, during the same period a year ago, the iPhone 6 made up 25.4% of smartphone sales, therefore, exhibiting a comparatively poorer performance of the iPhone 6s.

“Within the Android market, the Galaxy S6 is the top selling handset making up 11% of Android sales, whilst the Galaxy J1 and the Galaxy Core Prime gain share quarter on quarter.

“Loyalty for Apple in the 12 months to Dec is 87%, up 1%pts compared to a year ago, whilst Samsung’s loyalty is stable at 70%.”

In Australia, the top selling smartphones in the 3 months to December 2015 are:

  1. iPhone6s: 16.5%
  2. iPhone 6: 7.1%
  3. Galaxy S6: 5.7%
  4. iPhone 5s: 4.3%
  5. Galaxy S5: 3.9%

The OS stats are listed below - turn phone horizontal to see full chart is viewing on mobile.

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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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