Samsung fights back in Europe as iPhone XR tops British
The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar, for the three months ending March 2019, shows Android accounted for 79.3% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets. Android’s strong performance was primarily thanks to Samsung holding share steady and solid gains from Huawei and Xiaomi. iOS saw its share fall by two percentage points to 20.1% in Europe. However, the American market proved a brighter spot for Apple, as it boosted its US share in the quarter to 45.5%, an increase of 6.5 percentage points on the year.
Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar comments, “Samsung’s share of the big five European markets held firm in the latest quarter, aided by something of a renaissance in Italy and Spain. The launch of its flagship Galaxy S10 series also helped the manufacturer to consolidate its number one position in Europe, and it should expect sales to continue well into the next quarter.
“In the first month after their release, sales of Samsung’s new S10 models have been split with the Galaxy S10 accounting for 49.4%, the S10+ for 42.8% and the S10e for 8%. The fact that the more expensive models in the range are so far dominating is positive for the manufacturer, but it should expect the S10e to quickly gain share as sales move away from early adopters towards more typical members of the public.”
Dominic Sunnebo continues: “iPhone XR was a strong performer for Apple this quarter, outselling the combined iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in Europe and claiming the title of the best-selling model in Great Britain. In Europe, iPhone XR and iPhone XS/Max models both play an important role in managing Apple’s base – 16% of XS and XS Max buyers upgraded from an iPhone X, compared to less than 1% of iPhone XR buyers. As Smartphone prices rise rapidly, iPhone XR provides Apple with a way to keep its customers with older models continuing to upgrade regularly, and less tempted by the competition”.
In the US, Apple continued to dominate at a brand level, with the iPhone XR accounting for more than 1 in every 10 smartphones sold, while the Android carriers competed for market share.
Dominic Sunnebo explains: “Motorola has struggled for years to regain a foothold in the US market, but it appears to have turned a corner, hitting a three year high market share of 6.6% in the latest quarter. LG felt the impact of this directly, and saw its own share fall to a three year low of 9.6%.
“Two years ago, Verizon retail accounted for close to half of Motorola’s US sales, but in the latest quarter that has dropped to just 19% as a result of retail diversification, particularly among mobile service providers like MetroPCS and Cricket. With Apple and Samsung firmly focused on the very premium end of the smartphone market, and with the Chinese competition de-facto banned from the US, Motorola is having increasing success with low- and mid-range products.”
In urban China, iOS’ share of the market fell by 0.4 percentage points, a reasonably robust performance given the intense competition from local brands Huawei & Xiaomi. Apple’s 2018 flagship, iPhone X, was the top selling model in the quarter, with the iPhone XS Max and the XR just making it into the top 10 best-selling devices. The price differential between Apple and the wider urban Chinese market also reduced in the latest period, with Apple average selling price falling by 2% year on year to ¥5698, against a market rise of 5%. This has helped cushion Apple from competitive pressure.