Apple’s iOS takes share from Android in early holiday sales; iOS up 6.4 and 9.1 percentage points in the US and UK, respectively

The latest smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows sales of Google’s derivative Android declined in the US, GB, and France, as Apple’s revolutionary iOS continued to make gains across most regions in the three months ending November 2016. For Android, this marks the sixth consecutive period of decline in the US, at 55.3% of all smartphone sales, down from 60.4% in the same period a year earlier. In Urban China, iOS was down year-on-year at 19.9%, but continued strong period-on-period growth with sales from iPhone 7.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s were the three most popular smartphones in the US at the beginning of the holiday period, for a combined 31.3% share. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were the fourth and fifth best-selling phones in the US, with Samsung capturing 28.9% of smartphone sales.

“Verizon booked nearly a quarter of all US smartphone sales during the Black Friday period, playing a vital role for all brands, including Apple and Samsung,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, in a statement. “Buyers were motivated by Verizon’s promotions on both Apple and Samsung’s top phones, including offers of free iPhone 7, 7 Plus and Galaxy S7 phones after trade-in and purchase requirements were met.”

The Pixel phone by Google had 1.3% of sales in the three months ending November 2016, with more than half of that business done through Verizon.

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In China, iOS was down year-on-year to a 19.9% share in Urban China, dropping from 25.3% in the same period in 2015. However, growth for iOS was up 2.8 percentage points over the previous three-month period, driven by sales of iPhone 7.

“Nearly 80% of all smartphones sold in Urban China during the three months ending November 2016 were Android, as local brands continued to dominate the market,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia, in a statement. “Huawei represented 25% of all sales, but its share declined 3.1 percentage points from the three-month period ending October 2016, marking only its second period of decline in more than two years.”

Oppo posted strong growth in China with 12.9% of smartphone sales, signaling the first potential shift in the market since Huawei overtook both Apple and Xiaomi in the second quarter of 2015. Importantly for iOS and Apple, iPhone 7 became the best-selling device in Urban China at 6.6%, pushing Oppo R9 to second place at 4.7%.

Apple Market Share Mostly Positive in EU5

iOS and Android made gains across EU5 (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), largely due to the decline of Windows. The best showing for iOS was in in Great Britain where it was up 9.1 percentage points for the year ending in November 2016.

“In the EU5 countries, Android accounted for 72.4% of smartphone sales during this period, with iOS at 24.6%, a strong year-on-year uptick for both ecosystems as Windows’ share declined to 2.8%. For Android, this represented a 2.8 percentage point decline from the October period, while strong sales of iPhone 7 boosted iOS,” explained Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, in a statement.

smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

MacDailyNews Take: iOS increasing 6.4 and 9.1 percentage points in the US and UK, respectively, are very, very strong gains.

Could much of the world finally be waking up?


  1. Well always been strong in those markets, but good to see improvements in Spain and Italy in particular where it has tended to struggle for no apparent reason and where Windows had better performance than almost anywhere else, equally strangely. That seems to have come to an end. Odd about a slight decline in Germany but overall, as the China situation is pretty much inevitable a very good set of figures considering the doom and gloom everyone was predicting and how iPhone 8 was to be a make or break phone. As per usual the cynics and trolls have massively overblown the situation.

    Meanwhile with disaster in phones and hardly imposing sales in its computers range despite the hype, no doubt Microsoft will still get its brown nosing revival reports into the press. Funny old World.

  2. 1. This report includes September. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models were sold in about half of September. This means the iPhone should see even higher market shares with the report ending in December.

    2. The numbers here don’t take into account the increase in overall smartphone sales. My educated guess thinks it’s 10% higher this year compared with last year.

    1. I was told by The Verge that, contrary to its name, is a Luddite safeguard, that Apple is user-hostile and horrible for taking away the jack from iPhone and old slow ports from Macbook Pro, even though both shown outstanding demand.

      So far it seems that tech blogosphere is just as myopic as ever. People vote by their wallets.

  3. MDN, why are you cherry picking the US and the UK numbers only? The report also shows that iOS fell a -5.4% in China, -3.2% in Germany.

    I realize that the first 3/4 of 2016 was a down “S” year for Apple, but during this time Samsung blew up and the iPhone 7 initial sales surge occurred. Surprising how little Apple gained in US and most of western Europe considering that the aviation authorities banned the Samsung Note and a major recall ensued. It seems the Android Store is sticky enough to retain a large share of Samsung users. What is Apple offering to make people switch? It seems the iPhone 7 on its own merits isn’t a big draw.

    I know this is an english speaking forum, but I’ll bet the beancounters walking around the donut in Cupertino are upset that Apple is struggling to gain traction in China, the biggest growth market. India too, though this report doesn’t have the numbers there. I predict Apple is going to have to offer a different emerging market phone at a lower price point if it wants to be a player in the lower cost Asian markets. The outdated SE just doesn’t excite — too expensive for too little capability.

    1. I find it strange that all the news is concentrating on iOS increasing share in some key countries but no news about overall marketshare increase or decrease on a world scale as you would see in the past accompanying any gain or loss ‘news’. Is it because iOS actually dropped on that scale due to say China and India being such large markets?

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