Apple launch momentum continues
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to November 2013, shows Apple’s share of smartphone sales continuing to grow month on month following the release of the iPhone 5S and 5C models. However, its share of most major markets remains lower than the same time last year as it increasingly faces challenges from its rivals.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “While there’s no doubt that sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C have been strong, resurgent performances from LG, Sony and Nokia have made making year on year share gains increasingly challenging for Apple. Windows Phone, for example, is now the third largest OS across Europe with 10.0% – more than double its share compared with last year.”
Apple now accounts for 69.1% of the Japanese market, 43.1% in the United States, 35.0% in Australia and 30.6% in Great Britain.
Strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C can be linked to high levels of customer satisfaction with both models, despite fears that the lower-end 5C could damage Apple’s appeal.
Sunnebo continues: “Some people worried that Apple was risking its historically high consumer satisfaction levels by releasing a lower cost, plastic iPhone. However, the latest data for the US shows that the iPhone 5C has an average owner recommendation score of 9.0/10 versus 9.1/10 for the iPhone 5S. Both devices attract different customers but crucially each group of owners remains very happy with their choice and are recommending it to others.”
Around the world
Windows Phone’s gains across Europe have steadied over the past few months, holding at 10.0% in the latest figures. Europe remains a high point for Nokia and Windows, but progress in the world’s two largest smartphone markets remains stubbornly slow with share stuck at 4.7% in the US and 2.7% in China.
Sunnebo comments: “You don’t have to conquer China and the US to win in the smartphone market, but you do need success in one of them. At the moment there are few signs of progress in either country for Windows Phone and momentum needs to be made soon before OS loyalty severely limits the available market.
“China is likely to be the easier and more rewarding target for Windows. After all, Nokia has a huge existing presence in the market, retains strong customer preference and can sell handsets at the right price to capture the huge numbers of people with relatively modest budgets. However, with Microsoft soon running the show it’s hard to imagine a change in strategic direction away from the US.”
Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stands at 69% in November, with 86% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.
*The big five European markets includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.