Thursday, 26 July 2018 01:05

Huawei makes solid British market gains, but Apple rules roost in US


The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar reveals a mixed performance for Android in the three months ending June 2018 worldwide, but Apple's OS sales share is up and down too.

Kantar Worldpanel Comtech says Android OS sales share "across the big five European markets fell by 0.3% though Android remains dominant, holding 79.3% of the market".

"Worldwide, Android grew in the UK, Italy, Japan and China, with the improved performance of Huawei a major factor in this success."

Dominic Sunnebo, global director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, noted: “Huawei has been making rapid progress in Europe over the past three years, but performance in the UK has been lacklustre.

"To counter this the manufacturer has taken a dual-pronged approach, attacking the low end of the market with its budget P Smart model and the top end with the well-reviewed P20 Pro.

"The P20 flagship series has made a big impact in Britain, helping to lift Huawei’s share from only 2.7% a year ago to 13.7% in the past three months, and a successful partnership with Argos has helped both sides become major players in the lucrative British smartphone market.”

We're told that "Apple’s iOS performed best in the US, where a stellar three months helped shift market share up 5.9% to 38.7%".

"The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus lead Apple’s sales, together accounting for nearly one in five smartphones sold, while iPhone X was the fourth best-selling device during the period.

"Samsung and LG have both felt the heat from Apple’s performance, seeing share fall over the year".

Sunnebo continued: “Apple continues to wield huge power in the US market, with iPhone models making up eight out of the ten best-selling models in the past three months.

"Apple currently enjoys unprecedented depth across the smartphone price spectrum, ranging from the iPhone SE to the $1,000 iPhone X, resulting in continued growth and hitting Samsung and LG hard.

"While Samsung is well represented at the premium end of the market with its S9 and Note series, and its budget orientated J series helps compete against LG, lack of depth in the mid-high tier is allowing Apple to find a new avenue for growth.”

In Australia, Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director of Worldpanel ComTech APAC, noted that in the thee months ending June 2018, "iOS share increased slightly from 35.8% in the 3 m/e June 2017 to 36.3% in the latest three months".

"While iPhone 8 sales remain strong, with this model accounting for 7.8% share in the latest period (or 11.5% with the Plus variant included), the iPhone X now leads, taking 8.5% of sales, with share strengthening each quarter since its launch.

"Buyers of the iPhone X skew heavily towards young females, with over half of purchases made by those under 25. Camera quality and face recognition are features strongly over-indexing as purchase drivers compared to other smartphones.

"Android share declined over the same period from 63.9% to 62.9% although has seen a continual increase on the last two quarters where Apple typically peaks following its new flagship launch. Samsung share is fairly constant on last quarter but suffered a decline on the same period a year ago.

"Its latest flagship Galaxy S9/S9+ series collectively commanded 11.5% of the market in the three months ending June 2018, with a bias towards females and the 25-49 age groups.

"With Samsung loyalty increasing significantly on a year ago up to 78%, it is not surprising that the key influence on purchase for the S9 series is 'had a previous good experience', with consumers rating features such as camera quality, screen clarity, durability, storage capacity, processor speed and water resistant favourably compared to the average smartphone purchase.

"Elsewhere within Android, Huawei share of total smartphone remained fairly steady at 3.4% although made some inroads at the premium end ($900+), with share growing to 2.7%, driven by its new P20 Pro and slightly older Mate 10 devices.

"Huawei was overtaken this quarter by Oppo, whose share almost doubled in the last three months to 6.3%, placing the brand in third place. The A73 model has been the most popular, although the higher-priced R11s device has really gained momentum and driven share of the high ($600-$900) price tier this period up to 9.6%, aided by the backing of Optus and JB Hi-Fi in particular.

"Similar to last quarter, Motorola continued to grow slowly but surely, with share up to 2%. Additionally, from a zero base a year ago, Nokia’s Android smartphones have earned the brand a share of 1.6% of total smartphone in the last three months or 2.2% of the Android market, largely appealing to males aged 35+."

In China, Sunnebo said: "Android claimed 80.4% share in the three months to June 2018 – up by 2.0%. However, iPhone X continues to be the top selling device, making up 5.3% of all handsets sold – it has now been the best-selling model in China every month since its release in November 2017.

"The major brands in China are continuing to squeeze out challengers, with Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, and BBK Group (Oppo/Vivo) accounting for 87% of sales in the past three months, up from 80% a year ago."

Sunnebo added: “As smartphone penetration exceeds 90% in urban China and sales markedly slow, there are no easy wins left in the world’s largest smartphone market.

"The power and marketing budgets of the big four players in China are leaving less room for challengers to be heard – if they want to make an impact it’s imperative they focus on targeting specific consumer segments, as a scattergun approach will not cut through.”

Kantar's Smartphone OS Sales Share chart is below, with the interactive version able to be seen and 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.



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