US: Early iPhone6-6 Plus sales suggest strong holiday season
52% of likely near-term smartphone upgraders want an iPhone
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data for US smartphone sales in the three months ending September 2014 show the potential for Apple to capture strong sales in the holiday season thanks to its recently launched iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Overall, Apple's market share declined year over year from 36% in the third quarter of 2013 to 33% now. But early sales of iPhone 6 point to strong demand and a big opportunity during the holiday quarter. We will know more in November when we have a full month of sales data versus only 11 days' worth of September data at this time. During the launch quarter, loyalty for Apple grew by one percentage point year over year from 79% to 80%.
While OS share has not changed much, with Android dominating the market at 62%, vendors within the Android ecosystem are seeing different fortunes. LG and Motorola both gained share year over year, growing to 11% and 7%, respectively, while HTC saw its share drop by half to 3%. Samsung also saw a small decline of one percentage point during Q3 2014 although its share remained strong at 37%.
Key Numbers: 45% of iPhone sales in Q3 were gifts
The holiday season is shaping up favorably for Apple for reasons beyond the availability of the new iPhone models. Every quarter over the past year, Apple iPhone models were among the top two most gifted smartphones in the US. Smartphone gifting represented 23% of overall sales in Q3 2014 but 45% of Apple sales in the same period.
Looking at the next three months, and judging by brand preference as reported by smartphone owners looking to replace and featurephone owners looking to acquire their first smartphone, it is clear that Apple will fair well. Among the 6% of US smartphone owners who are looking to upgrade their devices in the next three months, 52% of them say Apple is their brand of choice. Among the 4% of featurephone owners who are looking to upgrade to smartphones, 19% of them said they prefer Apple to other brands.
Early iPhone 6, 6 Plus sales suggest strong holiday season