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Android vs. iOS

Smartphone OS sales market share evolution

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About this data

This information is based on the research extracted from Kantar's global consumer panel and refers in all cases to 3 months periods ending the stated month.

Worldpanel ComTech is the largest continuous research consumer mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone.

We track mobile phone behaviour, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, source of purchase and phone usage and delivers beyond market share tracking to understand drivers of share changes, market dynamics through consumer insight - the data included in this release is excluding enterprise sales.

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Huawei exit from Android leaves door open for iOS, as Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi unable to fully capitalise

Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, today revealed its smartphone OS data for the third quarter of 2021. Huawei continues to struggle to resurrect its market share in all reported markets; challenged by a multitude of obstacles from U.S sanctions to chip shortages, and more. This has opened opportunities for OEM competitors to steal sales share and reshape the competitive landscape. It’s been a great sales quarter for iOS, particularly in China (+6.4% pts. YoY), US (+4.6% pts. YoY), and EU5 (+4.3% pts. YoY). 

Jennifer Chan, Insight Director for Kantar comments “This quarter, despite Samsung holding stable performance across Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Australia, and the US, and strong performances from Xiaomi and Oppo; in total, this has not been enough to compensate for the share contributions Huawei made last year to Android, and to offset performance from iPhone.”

Despite the wrath of Huawei’s threat slowly fading, there is still much for iOS to watch out for with the progressing rise of other Chinese brands, namely Xiaomi and Oppo. In Q3 2021, Xiaomi takes 41% of sales share in Spain and grows across all other reported markets, except in Italy where the OEM holds stable, and in the US where its presence is limited. Both Xiaomi and Oppo demonstrate impressive growth in France, +11% pts. YoY and +4% pts. YoY, respectively. France is a market where smartphone resale is much higher than other markets, so it is unsurprising that lower price point smartphones perform well in this market. Oppo’s growth in China, Japan, Spain, and Italy sits at least 4% pts. higher this quarter vs. a year ago.

Chan continues, “In Q3 2021, iPhone 12 model is the #1 sold smartphone model across all reported markets except in Japan (ranking #2), Italy (ranking #2), and Spain (ranking #10). In US, Germany and Australia all four iPhone 12 models rank within the top 10 models sold. Despite being a 2019 launch, iPhone 11 remains popular among smartphone buyers, continuing to place in the top 5 models sold in all reported markets except Japan. In EU5, 67% of iPhone 11 buyers were driven by the “camera quality”, and over-indexes by 131 vs the average smartphone bought. 40% were attracted to iPhone 11 due to its “reliability/durability”, this is 127 times higher than the average smartphone sold. It’s no wonder why Apple are continuing to sell iPhone 11 alongside their latest launch of iPhone 13 models.”

Samsung S21 5G also proves popular in Germany (ranking #3 model sold) and is the #6 model sold in Italy and the US. Samsung sales in Q3 2021 are also driven through Galaxy A series models, with at least two models ranking in the top 10 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia. This, and the growth of brands like Xiaomi and Oppo, demonstrates consumer appetite for more affordable smartphones that still offer the latest technology.

Chan continues, “contrary to what the industry has chimed for many years “smartphones are getting more expensive”, the average price paid for a smartphone handset has actually declined vs. 2 years ago in US, Australia and Japan for both Android and iOS. Despite smartphone technology advances such as 5G enablement and camera quality, the cost to consumers has remained accessible; for example, iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 US and is classified in the premium price tier, opposed to traditional new launches landing in the super premium tier. Samsung Galaxy A series, Xiaomi and Oppo also offer various 5G models and compete outside of the super-premium tier. There’s more pressure across competitors to win share amid a narrower window of opportunity due to consumers continuing to hold on to their smartphones for longer, so OEM’s must be competitive in technology as well as price.”

Between 34% to 66% of smartphone buyers across all reported markets cite “cost of handset” in their top 3 overall reasons for purchase. However, only 8% to 17% of buyers say it’s their primary overall reason for purchase. “Handset brand/model” tops the primary reasons for most buyers, however, across all reported markets except Japan and Spain this has trended down YoY, suggestive of potential brand loyalty risks. This presents both an opportunity to steal share from competitors but also highlights the need to ensure customer satisfaction is attained.