Monday, 16 October 2017 03:41

Samsung sales swell well, Apple sees US and China growth accelerate


Samsung has seen a return to sales form, often thanks to sales promotions, with Apple still strong and growing in most places, while Chinese Android brands jostle competitively.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveals that for the three months ending in August 2017, "iOS posted growth in the US, China, Germany, France, and Spain, but performance in the UK dropped".

Consolidated market share for iOS in Europe’s five largest markets was "up by +1.2% year on year, held back by a resurgent Samsung in the UK. Samsung boosted Android’s growth in the UK with the Galaxy S8 and J3 (2016) selling well, while Apple’s flagship models lost momentum in the run up to the new iPhone announcement, offset slightly by strong sales of the iPhone SE".

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, explained that "Samsung took full advantage of the weeks just before the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in Great Britain, with significant promotional activity that helped drive its overall share to a three-year high of 38.4% for the three months ending August 2017".

“More than one in four Galaxy S8 buyers cited a specific promotion as a key purchase influencer, and almost half said that a good deal on the price of the phone was key to their purchase. Both of these metrics experienced a large increase over the last two months of the period.

In the US, Samsung and Apple sales shares for the three months ending in August were "virtually tied at 35.2% and 35.0% respectively".

“Apple maintained strong momentum in the US one month before the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and grew its sales share by +3.7% year-on-year, compared to Samsung’s growth of +0.8%,” Sunnebo added.

“Weaker sales through Verizon hurt Samsung as Apple approached a 50% share within the largest US carrier – an even higher proportion than at AT&T, a traditional iPhone stronghold.”

Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight director, at Worldpanel ComTech APAC, explained that Australia data, stating: "The latest purchase data for the three months to August 2017 shows a modest increase of 0.9% in iOS share to 33.9% compared to the same period a year ago.

"Apple’s iPhone 7 regained its number one position, ahead of the iPhone 8 launch, with a share of 9%, or 16.4% when combined with the iPhone 7 Plus.

"With the average price of an iPhone 7 dropping to $847 this period, it is not surprising that key factors influencing purchase of the device related to good deals on tariffs, exclusive offers or good deals on the cost of the device itself.

"Males aged 25-34 represented the biggest group of buyers of the model this period compared with the typically younger females who purchased the device when it was newly launched.

"Android has enjoyed strong share growth, up from 62.8% in the 3 m/e Aug 2016 to 65.5% in the latest three months, driven heavily by Samsung whose share has increased from 32.8% to 40.2% over the same period.

"Whilst the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus remain Samsung’s biggest selling models, to some extent aided by some good deals on the tariffs and on the handset prices themselves, much of the overall share uplift can be attributed to the mid-priced A series, the A5 (2017) in particular, and the lower-priced J series. Buyers of the A5 skew towards males and 35+ ages, with battery life the top feature driving purchase.

"While some share increases are still seen for the likes of Huawei, OPPO, Alcatel and Google, the relative newcomers to this market, BBK’s OnePlus and Xiaomi, are perhaps the brands to watch, with their shares rising to 1.5% and 1.4% respectively from virtually zero a year ago. Both brands currently skew heavily towards males."

In urban China, we're told that "Huawei continued to lead the market, holding a 31.1% share in the three months ending in August – but its growth was muted with only a 1.5% gain year on year.

"BBK Electronics, owner of the Oppo and Vivo brands, cemented its hold on the #2 spot in China with a combined 19.7% share, up 6.7% year on year. Apple maintained its return to growth in the world’s largest smartphone market with its share moving up to 17.7% from 13.4% a year earlier.

"The flagship iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the two top-selling models in urban China during the period."

Here's Kantar's chart – please turn phone horizontal if 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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