Android bites Apple in UK, iPhone X marks the spot in China

The smartphone sales results are in: Android continues to bite chunks out of Apple in UK and France, while iPhone X is eating Android in the East. 

The latest ComTech Smartphone OS Market Share report from Kantar Worldpanel reveals some interesting insights into how Apple and Android handsets are squaring up against each other — and highlights some striking differences across various markets.

In the UK, Apple iOS devices accounted for 37.0 per cent of sales in the first three months of 2018, compared with 62.7 per cent for Android. The mysterious 0.3 per cent eschewing the mainstream presumably includes those swept up by the recent Nokia nostalgia drive.

Kantar Worldpanel’s trend data suggests Apple’s pie is being eaten into, however. Sales of Android handsets have risen by 5.6 percentage points from the same period last year, while Apple smartphones have lost ground to the tune of 4.2 percentage points. That equates to a 25 per cent gap, compared to 15.9 last year.

France is even more polarised, with Android taking up 80.0 per cent of smartphone sales between January and February 2018 – up 4.4 percentage points – while iOS slips by almost three points to 19.5 per cent.

The USA market shows a little more equilibrium, with Android and Apple sharing 59.1 and 39.0 per cent of sales respectively, and no notable change on the same period in 2017.

iPhone X Marks The Spot in China

However, China reveals the most substantial swing in sales sentiment, with Android losing 9.9 percentage points in an apparent straight swap with Apple which gains 9.8 percentage points.

< class="wp-caption-text">Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Smartphone OS Sales Share

The Kantar Worldpanel team remarks that the Apple iPhone X release has played a major role here, with the anniversary handset becoming the best-selling smartphone in all of China in the last quarter. Elsewhere, it appears that iPhone X demand peaked shortly after release, with consumers opting for the less-unaffordable iPhone 8 models in the first few months of 2018.

Apple quarterly results this week were viewed favourably by many with shares jumping 5 per cent, despite handset sales falling slightly below analysts’ expectations. However, bossman Tim Cook noted a 20 per cent revenue growth in Greater China and Japan.

Japan is the market with the most equilibrium in Android and iOS sales, with 54.8 and 44.8 per cent of sales in turn. Apple devices lost ground by 2 percentage points.

China – Two-way Traffic

The data also deep-dives into which devices and manufacturers are taking the share of sales; and while Apple grows in China, it notes how Chinese manufacturers continue to set down roots in the west.

“Huawei has managed to significantly increase its presence across the big five European markets, and now holds almost a fifth of sales in the three months to March 2018,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, reflecting on the growth of the Chinese handset giant, despite having been effectively blocked from sales in the US.

Elsewhere in the US, the Google Pixel smartphone range continues to gain ground, chalking up its best-ever quarter of sales as the search/ads/AI firm bakes hardware into its lineup.

Data Center
Data Management