Wednesday, 06 May 2015 23:15

Q1 2015: Android is far from dead but strong iOS growth continues

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Apple’s new iPhones continue iOS growth in Europe, China and Australia, and while Android barely grew in the US, it enjoyed a 10.2% jump in Japan.

Kantar’s latest stats say that Android switchers drive iOS growth in Europe’s big five countries of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with 1.% growth for iOS in Q2 2015 compared to the same time last year.

However, while that means a 20.3% share for iOS across those 5 European countries, that’s still up against 68.4% for Android in aggregate, 9.9% share for Windows Phone and 1.4% share for ‘other’.

Looking at the stats, which can be seen in Kartar’s chart below, that means Android lost 3.1% across Europe’s big five in Q1 2015 compared to Q1 2014, the ‘Other’ category lost 0.5% while Windows Phone had the same 1.8% growth figure as iOS, although off a base less than half of iOS.

Carolina Milanesi, Kantar Worldpanel’s Chief of Research said: “In the first quarter of 2015, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus continued to attract consumers across Europe, including users who previously owned an Android smartphone.

“On average, across Europe's big five countries during the first quarter, 32.4% of Apple’s new customers switched to iOS from Android.”

Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel Europe noted Android’s share declining by 3.1% compared to last year, to 68.4%, as iOS rose by 1.8%.

Sunnebo said: “In Great Britain, while 25.6% of new iOS buyers switched from Android during the quarter, Android’s leadership remains strong, thanks to the price options consumers have in both the contract and prepay market.

“35% of consumers who bought an Android smartphone in 1Q15 said their decision was driven by receiving a good price on the phone. Another 29% said that getting a good deal on the tariff/contract was a factor in their purchase.”

Meanwhile, Tamsin Timson, Kantar Worldpanel Asia’s strategic insight director said: “In urban China, Apple consolidated its leadership in smartphones, growing its share to 26.1%, up from 17.9% for the same period in 2014.

“Thirty-eight percent of iPhone buyers were recommended an Apple device by someone they know, while 23% recall seeing an ad.”

Kantar shows China ‘now driving more volume for Apple than the U.S., as the Cupertino company reaches beyond the more affluent buyers.’

The figures show that in Q1 2015, Apple represented 25% of smartphone sales in urban China's 2,000 to 4,000 RMBs income bracket — a 10.1% increase from the same period in 2014.

Timson makes no comment about Australia or Japan, but we can see from the Australian stats that Android lost 5% market share in Q1 2015 to be at 52.3%, iOS grew by 5.3% to be at 38.4%, Windows Phone grew by 0.4% to be at 7.3% and the other category fell by 0.7% to be at 2%.

In Japan, Android grew by a whopping 10.2% to be at 52.3%, iOS fell by an even more whopping 12.5% to be at 45.1%, Windows Phone eked out an 0.1% growth rate to be at 0.4% while the ‘other category’ smashed Windows Phone by growing by 2.1% to 2.2% in Q1 2015, where its Q1 2014 figure was so low it was listed as 0.0%.

Now, onto the US. Here, Android reached a market share of 58.1% — a 0.2% gain over Q1 2014, while iOS fell by 0.2$ to rest at 36.5%.

Milanesi said that: “LG had a particularly good first quarter with its share growing to 10.8% from 7.4% a year ago, while Samsung was holding on to second place as it prepared for the launch of its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in April.

“Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus already represent 18% of all iPhones in use in the U.S., and 64% of the iPhone installed base is an iPhone 5 or newer — good news for the Apple Watch that interacts only with these newer models.”

As for Windows Phone in general, Milanesi pointed out that, a week after the Microsoft developer conference kicked off, ‘it is notable that Windows' market share has grown little during the past year in the U.S. and the EU big five — with the exception of France where market share grew to 14.1% in 1Q15.’

Milanesi explained: “If we dig a little deeper, it is easy to see the strong value proposition that the Lumia portfolio offers, as Windows phone sales in the U.S. skew towards the prepay market (20%) and installment plans (51%).

“Microsoft is betting that new Windows 10 functions and the ability for developers to easily port Android apps to Windows will make the Windows ecosystem more appealing.”

Kantar  q1 2015 stats

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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