US phablet market soars
Phablets claimed 21% of all US smartphone sales in Q1 2015 – nearly quadrupling their 6% share from the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel ComTech market share data.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus took 44% of this segment. Screen size was cited as the main reason for buying a particular phone by both iOS and Android buyers at 43% and 47%, respectively.
Apple’s overall sales dominated AT&T, Verizon and Sprint where iPhone represented 59%, 43% and 50% of smartphone sales, while Samsung dominated smartphone sales at T-Mobile with a share of 42%.
Among new iOS customers for the first quarter, 11.4% switched from Android, compared to 14.6% who made the switch during the same period in 2014. Among new Android customers, only 5.9% came from iOS, compared to 9.8% in Q1 2014.
Despite this dip in iOS customer conversions, Android achieved a US market share of 58.1% — a 0.2 percentage point gain over Q1 2014. LG had a particularly good first quarter, growing its share to 10.8% from 7.4% one year ago, while Samsung held onto second place as it prepares 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 US, and 64% of the iPhone installed base is an iPhone 5 or newer model — which is good news for the Apple Watch that interacts only with these newer models.
And one week after the Microsoft developer conference kick-off, it is notable that Windows' US market share has grown little during the past year. Digging a little deeper, it’s easy to see the strong value proposition that the Lumia portfolio offers, as Windows phone sales in the US skew towards the pre-pay market (20%) and installment plans (51%). Microsoft is betting that new Windows 10 functions and the ability for developers to easily shift Android apps to Windows will make the Windows ecosystem more appealing.
In OS market, Android holds its lead while Windows remains stalled.