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Apple makes strong gains in the US smartphone market



Apple makes strong gains in the US smartphone market

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech shows a mixed picture for Android, which while losing ground to iOS in the United States has made significant gains across the five main European markets in the three months ending September 2018. 

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech comments, “Healthy early sales of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models in the States are good news for Apple.  Combined with the continued strong momentum we’re seeing among its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, these sales have contributed to a 5.0 percentage point increase in OS share for Apple in the US – the biggest gain seen worldwide this quarter.  iPhone 8 was the top selling model in the US over the quarter, with a 9.4% share of the handset market, and with iPhone XR launching outside this period we’d expect Apple share to tick up further towards the end of the year.”

“The picture is different in Europe, with competition remaining fierce among Android handset brands.  European consumers are holding on to their handsets more than two months longer than they were in 2016 meaning the introduction of innovative new models is more important than ever.  Huawei is one manufacturer making significant steps in the right direction – six months on from the launch of its P20 series it has consolidated its position as the second best-selling brand in Europe behind Samsung.  Meanwhile, last month’s launch of its Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are further evidence of the investment Huawei is making in research and development meaning its strong performance is likely to continue into next year.

“Xiaomi is continuing to expand rapidly in Spain and, more recently, in Italy and France.  The focused push that the two Chinese giants are making into Europe is causing pain for their rivals across the board.  However, it is Sony, LG and Wiko who are being disproportionally impacted as a result of their historic over-reliance on the ultra-competitive low and mid-price tiers.”

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was the top selling model across the big five European markets in September. Meanwhile, the newly released Galaxy Note 9 has made it into the top 10 most popular models for the month.  In further evidence of the new market dynamics in Europe, both Huawei and Xiaomi achieved places in the top five handset ranking for the first time in the form of the P20 Lite and Note 5 respectively.

Apple continues to lead handset sales in Japan despite strong pressure from Sharp and Huawei.  Both brands have seen strong gains, increasing their share of sales by 6 percentage points and 3.2 percentage points respectively; Sharp’s flagship Aquos R2 and Huawei’s P20 Lite both made it into the top five best-selling list for the third quarter.

In China, each of the top three brands this quarter – Huawei, Xiaomi and Apple – saw their market share increase year-on-year.  The Xiaomi Mi 8 was the best-selling model during the period while iPhone models made up three out of next four best-selling models, led by iPhone X.  OPPO, which has a particularly strong 2017, has seen its performance slow and has subsequently lost share, down to 8.4% from 14.1% a year ago.  

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Global Strategic Insight Director, ComTech

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