Apple’s iPhone 5c gains momentum in UK; especially popular with British females

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to January 2014, shows Android retain its top spot as the leading OS across Europe with 68.5% share, although Samsung’s dominance of this market is being eroded. Apple holds second place with 19.0% while Windows Phone remains the fastest growing European OS, with 10.1% share. The big five European markets includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in a statement, “In Europe Android continues to move towards 70% share, and the real battle now is among the Android manufacturers. Samsung is dominant, with 39.5% of sales, but this is lower compared with last year. Its position is being eroded by the likes of LG (6.9%), Sony (9.4%) Motorola (1.7%) and new brand Wiko (2%) which are all increasing their share of sales. All of these brands will be hoping their new releases at Mobile World Congress will be well received and help boost performance in 2014.”

Despite underwhelming fourth quarter results, Windows Phone has managed to hold onto double digit share across Europe for four consecutive months. Windows Phone continues to be driven by Nokia’s budget Lumia 520 which was the fourth highest selling handset in Britain during the past three months, just behind the iPhone 5c.

Sunnebo continued, “Nokia has continued its successful tactic of sucking up remaining featurephone owners across Europe. Even in Britain, where smartphone penetration is at 70%, there are over 14 million featurephone consumers for it to target. At some point Nokia will have to start making serious inroads into the smartphone competition, but for the time being its strategy in Europe is working. Crucial for Nokia will be its ability to keep low-end owners loyal and upgrade them to mid to high-end models.”

For Apple, there are encouraging signs as sales of its 5c model start to take off. When Apple first launched its new iPhones in Britain the 5s outsold the 5c by 3:1. However, the iPhone 5c has gained momentum and was the third best-selling smartphone over the past three months, reducing the 5s/5c ratio to 2:1. There is a stark gender divide between 5c and 5s buyers – in Britain 74% of 5c buyers are female versus just 36% for the 5s. There are also clear differences in how each device is used. 5s users are more engaged with their device, particularly for data heavy functions such as watching mobile TV or downloading music.

The phablet trend continues to power ahead in China, where almost a third (31%) of smartphones sold in the past three months had screen size of over 5”. Some 9% sold had screens larger than 5.5”.

Sunnebo commented, “Phablet sales across Europe and US have been gradually rising, but it’s China which is driving demand. Phablet owners are less likely than the average consumer to own a tablet, indicating that phablets are increasingly being used as the primary device to browse online in China. Interestingly, phablet ownership in China is skewed heavily to women, running counter to Europe and the US where it tends to be young, male early adopters. It’s too early to forecast the long-term trends for China, but in Europe where the first wave of phablet owners are now coming to upgrade, over 40% are down-sizing to a smaller device. Manufacturers targeting the Chinese market should bear this trend in mind in the coming years.”

Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stood at 70% in January, with 86% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. The more interesting thing here is that demand for phablets in China, 31% of sales, is higher than anywhere else, and that 40% of existing phablet owners in Europe are downsizing with their next purchase. Yet Apple is doomed without a phablet.

  2. I found the observation that 40% of large screen phones are downsizing to be of interest. A 4.5 inch (or so) iPhone in a compact design may be the sweet spot. A 6 inch iPad nano with call capability for those who want a converged device also makes sense. Separating phone and tablet lines would be quite clever, maintaining the one hand phone use, but allowing calls on a larger two hand small tablet makes real marketing sense.

  3. 5c Model is like buying a Samsung Ace, but that only costs $150 and has a better screen and more features. Why buy 5C when you could get 5 Samsungs for the same price. or 2 x S3’s , maybe a S4 and a S2. Then again people are finally waking up to the Apple rip off ecosystem…

  4. In Australia it even better, buy a Samsung S4 and get a Galaxy tab 10.2 for free. Buy and S3 get another one free on 12 month plan. Its now a case of Phone outlets having to beg customers to take an iphone to reduce stock.

    1. Are you stupid? The reason they GIVE AWAY Galaxy Tabs and crap like that is because they don’t sell on their own.

      They have to bundle Samsung devices because a Galaxy phone or a Galaxy Tab on its own just doesn’t sell as well as a single iPhone.

    2. I would be very interested to see exactly WHICH phone outlets are struggling to reduce iPhone stock. Ever since iPhone was first released in 2007 (SEVEN years ago!), retailers have struggled to keep them in stock. In the seven years since it went on sale, it has consistently been (and still is) the fastest selling mobile device on the planet. This explains why neither the maker (Apple), nor the carriers have ever needed to offer discounts on it. Other than Wal-mart occasionally giving away a $50 gift card with purchase (in order to drive foot traffic to the stores for other stuff), the iPhone was NEVER sold below its retail price.

      That something like this is happening today in Australia is quite difficult to believe, especially since the only news outlet that is reporting this rather significant news is cm8 here…

    3. Well now that’s cheating isn’t it and those kind of giveaways are not sustainable making no profit. I checked and there’s no link of such a sale in Australia.

      PCWorld said of the Scamdung tablet: “The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.2 offers little to get excited about.”

  5. So what have learned here today?

    • Almost half of people who bought the first wave of phablets two years ago are regretting it and are downsizing on their next phone;

    • Chinese women, as well as Western adolescent men love phablets

    • Women like colour; men don’t

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