iPhone 12 models lead the way for 5G capable devices
Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, today revealed its smartphone OS data for the fourth quarter of 2020. Data reveals that iOS accounts for 26.2% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets (EU5), with share also up in Australia and flat in the USA.
Jennifer Chan, Insight Director at Kantar, Worldpanel Division comments “In Q4 2020 Android grew YoY in Japan (+3.3% pts) and China (+4.7% pts.). A closer look at China shows local brands driving sales growth in the latest quarter; Huawei took 46.5% share (+2.3% pts.) and Xiaomi 11.7% share (+1.5% pts.). Chinese brands continue to expand their global footprint with Xiaomi making up almost 1 in 5 sales across the EU5, with an impressive growth of 5% pts. YoY, largely driven by Italy and Spain. Oppo, although still relatively small, also grew in all reported markets. Global brands that track smaller sales share experienced some successes relative to their market size; Motorola was up by more than 1.5 share points YoY in each Germany and the USA. Google grew in Japan by +2.1% pts. YoY.
Samsung, meanwhile, have held their fort across all reported markets in Q4’20 with sales share up by 2.3% pts. YoY across the EU5, driven by France and Germany.
Chan continues, “While still in the early stages of launch, iPhone 12 models are tracking well. The iPhone 12 model proves popular and is already the 2nd most sold smartphone in Q4’20 in the USA, China and Australia. iPhone 11 continues to attract buyers and is the number one model sold across the EU5, USA and Australia. In Japan, smaller form factors are most desired with iPhone SE (2nd generation) topping the sales list, making up almost 1 in 5 devices sold and was followed by iPhone 12 Mini in 2nd place.
Interestingly, when comparing the specific features driving sales of each iPhone 12 model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max skews heaviest among consumers looking for “quality of the camera” across the EU5 and USA. Prior to purchasing, they attained their main source of information direct from Apple.com and across the EU5 skew higher to have ‘watched new product launch event’. Other specific features to also rank in the top 3 for buyers of iPhone 12 models were “Reliability and durability” across EU5 and China, and “size of the screen” across EU5, Japan and Australia.
With much noise around 5G, iPhone 12 certainly stands out for driving sales through this capability. In all reported markets, at least 25% of iPhone 12 models were bought for ‘5G capability’, the most being 51% of buyers in the USA. Compared to average smartphones sold, iPhone 12 models indexed by at least 117, the highest index being 367across EU5.
In Q4’20, the share of smartphone owners connected to a 5G network was higher YoY in Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Urban China and Australia. Across all reported markets, at least 50% of smartphone owners intending to buy in the next 6 months, intend to buy a 5G enabled smartphone; and compared to intenders of last year, this is up in all markets except in France and Japan.
Chan continues: “Over half of smartphones were sold online in the latest quarter, across all report markets. Online smartphone sales were up in EU5 (+8.7% pts), USA (+7.3% pts) and AU (+11.0% pts.) where the top source of information prior to buying was through websites; highlighting the continued need to develop and deploy digital marketing strategies to respond to the aggressive channel growth of the category.
Also, not to be underestimated is the power of influence through friends and family. This touchpoint finds itself in the Top 5 purchase touchpoints across all reported markets and is number one in China, with 20% of smartphone buyers going to their friends and family as the main source of information prior to purchasing.
Chan continues: “Some final thoughts…It’s not new news that smartphone sales slowed through 2020, as a result of the pandemic, with many consumers delaying their smartphone purchases and some even cancelling their plans completely; this will certainly push out replacement cycles further. Almost 1/3rd of smartphone owners have held their current device for 2.5+ years and these figures have increased YoY. With many consumers being repressed by current environmental and economic challenges, this year is set to be extremely interesting as we monitor and anticipate returning consumers to market.