Sunday, 14 January 2018 13:35

Kantar: Chinese Android users switching to iPhone, some strong global iOS sales figures


Apple's iPhone has done extremely well in some countries, with Kantar stating Apple "is now back on form", but while it still reports "mixed performance" in some areas, too, Chinese Android users are switching to iPhone.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveals "a mixed performance for iOS in the three months ending November 2017".

We're told that, despite new handset releases including iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, "iOS share fell by 0.6% across the big five European markets to 23.9% and by 3.8% in the USA to 39.8%. In contrast, iOS performance in urban China continues to impress, gaining 4.6% over the same time period to give it a market share of almost 25%".

Dominic Sunnebo, global director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “On the surface Apple’s share figures for the three months to November struggle to impress, but taking into account the staged releases of the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X there are some strong performances.

"In the UK, Apple achieved its highest share in more than three years in the month of November, taking it to 49.4% and easily regaining the number one sales position from Samsung.

"The iPhone X was the best-selling model in the UK in November, with a 14.4% share of sales, though as the most expensive mass-market smartphone currently available it remains to be seen how long it can maintain this momentum at its current price point of £999.”

Delving into the Australia data is Tamsin Timpson, Kantar's Strategic Insight director, who said: "In the three months ending Nov 2017, Android share of smartphone purchasing enjoys an increase of 5.4% vs a year ago to 55.5%, whilst iOS share sees a decline of 2.5% to 43.9%.

"However, take-up of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus has certainly driven up iOS share over the last two months and, whilst still early days, sales of the iPhone X contribute significantly to this upward trend.

"In the month of November, the iPhone X accounts for 10.3% of all smartphone sales, with only the iPhone 8 Plus holding a higher share of 11.1%. Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and iPhone 8 are the top three best-selling models in November 2017 alone, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S8 in 4th place.

"Early buyers of the iPhone X skew slightly in favour of males with almost 70% aged under 35. The top factor influencing purchase is ‘had a previous good experience’ with ‘hearing or reading good things about it’ also playing an important role in the decision. Camera quality, screen resolution, battery life and wireless charging are the top features driving purchase of the iPhone X.

"Samsung holds its number one spot within the Android market, although share is down from a year ago to 48.4% in the 3 m/e Nov 2017 (or 26.9% of total smartphone sales). The Galaxy S8 is the top selling Android model with 13.3% share (of Android), while the Galaxy Note 8 gains momentum, taking 4th place, with 4.1% share of Android.

"Growth of Android continues to be driven by brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Alcatel, TCL and Xiaomi, with some revival also for Motorola, (with) price being the main reason for the purchase of the latter.

"Whilst share growth for all of these brands is largely concentrated in prices up to $500, growth for OPPO is more significant in the $500-$800 price range on the back of its R11 device, earning the brand third place behind Apple and Samsung in this mid-price tier."

In the US, Sunnebo tells us that "iPhone X was outsold by iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in the month of November but did round off the top three best-selling models for the month, easily beating the top Samsung model, the Galaxy S8, which is in sixth position".

"The iPhone X was the top selling Smartphone in Japan in November, commanding an 18.2% share, closely followed by the iPhone 8 at 17.2% share."

Meanwhile, in urban China, demand for the iPhone X has exceeded all expectations, with Sunnebo continuing his explanations, stating: “Apple was riding on the back of some momentum before the iPhone X release but demand for the latest model in urban China has been staggering given its price point.

“Apple is now back on form – iPhone X was the top selling model in urban China in November, with a market share of 6.0%.

"Unlike in Europe and the US, where the vast majority of new early iPhone X sales came from existing Apple smartphone owners, in urban China there are significant numbers of Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung customers switching to the new iPhone models, which they deem a cut above the rest.”

Here's Kantar's chart of the major global regions:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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