Wednesday, 08 November 2017 23:42

Kantar: Apple up in US, UK and China, pre-iPhone X arrival

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Apple has enjoyed great results despite the iPhone X not yet being available during Kantar's data gathering period, with Android strong in the UK and Xiaomi entering Spain.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveals that "in the three months ending September 2017, iOS share was flat in Europe, but up in the US and urban China".

On the Android side of the fence, we're told that "Android’s stellar performance within the UK continued, with its share rising 8.2% to 63.9% in the latest three-month period".

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: "Maintaining or growing share in Apple’s key regions is impressive, considering that iPhone X was not yet available during the three-month period ending in September 2017.

“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales were below the level of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sales from a year earlier. But, since the iPhone 8 is not the flagship, the comparison is somewhat meaningless.

"Consumers buying lower-priced and previous generation iPhones prior to the iPhone X release will have a small impact on average selling prices, but this should be more than made up for when iPhone X sales begin at starting prices of US$999 and £999.”

On November 7, Kantar notes that Chinese brand Xiaomi "announced that it was officially beginning smartphone sales in Spain, the first European country where its phones will be available locally".

"This announcement brings more disruption to the European smartphone market, and although it marks Xiaomi’s initial beachhead in Europe, the company’s smartphones have been making their way onto the continent in significant numbers over the last year."

Sunnebo added: "Across the Big Five EU markets of Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain, almost 1.4 million Xiaomi smartphones were sold.

“Most of those were sourced from Chinese websites like Gearbest and AliExpress. Fully 63% of these shipments went into Spain, so it is no coincidence that Spain is Xiaomi’s market of choice for its European launch."

Kantar notes that "Xiaomi’s existing success in Europe is not just limited to smartphones. Xiaomi was the fifth largest supplier of wearables and activity trackers last year across the EU5, where it sold 1.2 million activity trackers".

So, what is the Australian data?

Well, in the three months ending September 2017, Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight director, Worldpanel ComTech APAC, said: "iOS share of smartphone purchasing declined to 34.5% from 37.1% the same period a year ago.

"With the latest three-month data only incorporating the first two weeks of Apple’s newly-launched iPhone 8, this latest device has had little impact on overall brand share and, certainly, less impact compared to its predecessor, the iPhone 7, which managed to capture over 5% market share in the same period last year.

"The iPhone 7 remains the best-selling smartphone this period, with 10.1% market share.

"Android share of smartphone purchasing grew by almost 7ppts to 64.9% over the same period. Samsung enjoyed considerable YoY growth, up from 30.9% in 2016 to 34.7% this year, driven by its Galaxy S8 devices and, to a greater extent, its increasingly popular A5 and J series devices.

"The strength of these models allowed Samsung to hold on to its share of the Android market, growing slightly YoY from 53% in Sep 2016 to 53.6% in Sep 2017.

"Aside from Samsung, growth of Android continues to be driven by Huawei, Oppo, ZTE and Alcatel with some gain also for OnePlus and Xiaomi, albeit from a low base.

"These brands collectively account for 15.2% of total smartphone purchasing, rising to 27.8% in the low tier (<US$300) and 15.6% in the mid tier (US$300-US$700).

"Consumers are not generally buying these brands for their durability or quality of materials but are, instead, choosing them for their feature-packed offerings, with battery, storage, expandable memory and dual SIM high on their list of reasons to choose their device.

"A good deal on the handset price is, of course, a strong influence on the purchase decision although factors such as the ability to test a working model in-store and assistant recommendations are also playing an important role in helping consumers make their choice." 

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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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