Thursday, 29 July 2021 11:37

Kantar releases June 2021 smartphone OS stats: smartphone shoppers return to high-street as in-store sales increase by double digits


Latest data from Kantar shows consumers are making the most of reduced COVID restrictions, allowing for a more personalised in-store smartphone purchasing experience, although in-store shopping experiences are something many people are finding challenging in Australia due to ongoing COVID lockdowns that either continue or have ended but could start up again at any time.

Kantar has revealed its smartphone OS data for the second quarter of 2021. We’re told that “as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease and more consumers are out-and-about, Smartphone purchasing reverts to in-store in USA and across most EU5 markets (the exception being Germany) with each market showing in-store channel share growth, up by at least 10% points YoY. However, for APAC markets (China, Japan, and Australia), in-store purchasing versus online remains almost flat YoY.”

Jennifer Chan, Insight Director for Kantar comments “In Q2 2021, year-on-year OS performance shares remain relatively stable across EU5 and Australia. In USA and China, iOS performance is up 2% points each YoY, and in Japan Android sales share is up 5% points driven by strong performance from Sharp (+5% points YoY) and Oppo (+3% points YoY).

“Despite little sales share movement at an OS level across most reported markets, individual brand performance particularly for Oppo and Samsung in EU5 shows +3% and +5% YoY growth, respectively. Samsung sales share also grows by 4% points in each Australia and USA, taking over 30% of sales in Q2 2021 although still behind iPhone sales.

“The appeal of 5G continues to grow in Q2 2021, as a feature driver of purchasing ‘5G capability’ citation is in double digit share points growth YoY, in nearly all reported markets; USA (+19% points YoY), EU5 (11% points YoY), Japan (+10% points YoY), Australia (+9% points YoY) and while ‘5G capability’ is near flat in China YoY, 1 in 5 smartphone buyers are citing this as a driver. Of the top 10 models sold in China 70% are 5G enabled. In Japan this is 60%, 50% in both USA and Australia, and 40% across EU5.”

Across reported markets, except in Japan, among those intending to purchase a new smartphone in the next 6 months, we’re told “over 2/3rds have hopes of buying a 5G enabled phone; the highest proportion being in China at 91%. Although Japan has the lowest reported proportion, it still sits at 55% of future buyers.

“Zooming in on the USA specifically, among the 74% of future 5G-connected smartphone hopefuls, 26% are connected to Verizon network provider, 26% T-Mobile/Sprint combined, and 23% AT&T. Among future buyers who have no interest in 5G connectivity, Verizon and T-Mobile/Sprint currently service 21%, 14% are subscribed to AT&T, and 10% to TracFone Wireless.”

Chan continues, “In Q2 2021, USA and in all EU5 markets (except Germany) channel shares for in-store sales increases by at least 10% points YoY in each local country. In-store sales shares are also up this quarter compared to Q1 2021 in Great Britain (+13% points), USA (+7% points), Germany (+4% points), and Spain (+3% points).

“As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll-out, and businesses open with reduced restrictions, more consumers are high-street shopping. In USA smartphone owners who self-purchased their phone in-store are those who are more likely to agree to “I keep my smartphone for as long as I can” (80% vs. 77% online buyers).

“This also holds true in Australia, Japan and EU5. When it comes to mobile technology more generally, in-store smartphone buyers in USA, Australia, and Japan are more likely to agree that they “prefer to buy brands that I am familiar with” and in these local markets plus EU5, smartphone buyers in-store are also more likely to agree with “If I am going to be able to use a new technology product, somebody has to show me how to use it” (9% vs. 13% online buyers).”

As governments deliver announcements of new COVID variants, it is important to monitor channel sales to better inform marketing activation decisions.

Tamsin Timpson, Kantar’s Business Unit Director, of ComTech Asia Worldpanel Division shared the Australian data:

“In the 3 m/e June 2021, iOS share of smartphone purchasing declined by 1ppt to 40.3% compared with the same period a year ago, following two quarters of considerable share growth. Apple devices take three of the top five selling models this quarter, namely, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 taking first and second equal place with 6.3% and 4.7% respectively and iPhone 12 Pro Max coming in at fourth equal with 4% share.

“The total iPhone 12 series accounts for 14.5% of all smartphone purchasing this period and has certainly helped Apple take the lead in the 5G space – 2.1m smartphone owners in Australia now have a 5G enabled device (11.4% of all smartphone owners) and Apple account for half of those, with Samsung taking 40%.

“Over the same period, Android share has edged up to 59.7% compared to the 3 m/e June 2020. Samsung enjoy considerable share growth, up from 30.7% in June 2020 to 34.8% this period. Interestingly, its two best-selling models making it into the top five overall are at quite opposite ends of the price spectrum.

“Its entry level Galaxy A12 is its top selling device this quarter at 4.7%, whilst its premium Galaxy S21 takes 4% share, level with the iPhone 12 Pro Max (total Galaxy S21 series amounting to 7.5% share). In-store purchasing, especially in Vodafone and Officeworks has been key to sales of the Galaxy A12 with consumer review sites the biggest marketing touchpoint prior to purchase and, whilst a good deal on the phone price is the top purchase influence, a good deal on the contract is a relatively bigger influence compared to the average smartphone purchase.

“In contrast, the Galaxy S21 is far more likely to have been purchased either online, especially via Samsung’s own website, or directly over the phone via the carriers, since 90% of buyers have upgraded from another Samsung device so likely do not feel the need to shop around. The manufacturer website is, therefore, not surprisingly, the main touchpoint for this premium device, with exclusive promotions and trade-in schemes key purchase influences.

“Elsewhere in Android, OPPO experiences strong share growth up to 6.6%, driven largely by its low to mid priced A53 series and recently released A74 device. In-store recommendation for the OPPO brand has shot up to 19.5% this quarter on the back of these models, driven primarily by JB Hi-Fi, where almost one in five smartphone purchases in this retailer are OPPO.

“Therefore, recommendations and a good deal on the phone price have been key influences this quarter, with battery life the top feature driving purchase. Having enjoyed growth last quarter, shares are relatively stable this period for both Nokia and Google’s Pixel phones at 3.7% and 2.3% respectively, whilst share growth is seen for Motorola, albeit from a low base, up to 2.2%, with its affordable Moto G10 and G30 devices.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is 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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