Apple’s iOS takes share from Android in U.S. market

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveal that in the first quarter of 2017, and despite an Apple earnings report that did not meet Wall Street’s expectations for iPhone sales, the company continued to make year-on-year share gains across most markets except urban China.

The greatest increase for iOS came in Great Britain with 40.4 percent of smartphone sales, an increase of 5.6 percentage points, and in the US, with 38.9 percent of smartphone sales, an increase of 5.2 percentage points year-over-year.

The first quarter of 2017 produced the lowest iOS share in China since the second quarter of 2014 with 12.4 percent of smartphone sales. Android continued to make year-on-year gains with 87.2 percent of smartphone sales,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, in a statement. “For iOS, this represents a 9.1 percentage point drop from the first quarter of 2016. At the same time, iPhone 7 remained the best-selling device in urban China with 3.8 percent of a market that has become increasingly fragmented.

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“As a percentage of Android sales, Huawei continued to dominate in urban China at 36 percent. Oppo, which took the Chinese market by storm in 2016, has become the second largest Android brand with 13 percent of sales. Samsung fell to sixth place behind local Chinese vendors Xiaomi, Meizu, and Vivo, at just five percent of sales,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia, in a statement. “Oppo’s strength is in its brick-and-mortar presence, which accounts for 86 percent of their smartphone sales. This contrasts with most other brands in the market who all make at least a third of their sales online, except for Vivo.”

In EU5, Android accounted for 76.3 percent of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2017, nearly on par with a year earlier at 75.6 percent. iOS posted a 1.9 percentage point gain to reach 20.7 percent of smartphone sales.

Europe’s big five markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

“Across EU5, Chinese brands have grown over the past year to account for 22 percent of smartphone sales,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, in a statement. “Huawei, the second largest Android brand across France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, has also started to make its presence known in Great Britain, where it has historically struggled. Huawei accounted for 6.3 percent of smartphone sales in Great Britain in the first quarter of 2017, an all-time high, making it the third-largest Android brand in that market behind Samsung and Sony.”

In the US, Android accounted for 59.2 percent of smartphone sales, compared to 63.4 percent a year earlier, while iOS captured 38.9 percent of sales, up year-on-year from 33.7 percent. The drop in Android share has been driven largely by lower sales of Samsung and Moto phones, the largest and third-largest Android-based brands in the market.

While Chinese vendors are enjoying growth in places like EU5, Latin America, and India, the same cannot be said in the US, which remains dominated by Apple (39%), Samsung (30%), and LG (12%). The first quarter 2017 decline in Samsung smartphone sales was likely due to buyers anticipating the April 21 release of the new Samsung Galaxy S8. We expect to have launch results for the S8 within the next 60 days. We should also learn if the S8 will overcome Samsung’s troubles with the Note 7, and whether the S8 will push the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus out of the top-selling spot.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

MacDailyNews Take: Inexorably, the tide of switchers from cheap imitations to the real thing eats away at Android.


    1. Not really. Most consumers will always go after the cheapest goods they can buy. There’s no advertising in the world that will move most Android users to iOS. I’m always seeing articles saying how Android smartphones at half the price of iPhones are just as good as iPhones.

      A lot of consumers don’t even care what brand smartphone they have. To them, all smartphones are alike. It’s like some people won’t pay for premium toilet paper because it’s only used to wipe their butts and throw it away. I don’t feel that way but I see plenty of people buying cheap toilet paper in bulk.

      I say there’s no chance at all Apple’s iOS devices will ever have even a slightly higher market share than Android. Google will make sure of that by aggressively pushing $50 smartphones to the masses. Apple can’t do anything about that, nor do I think they should even try. There’s no point in Apple trying to undercut other manufacturers in terms of cost. It’s a losing business strategy and it’s bad for the ecology. Building good products for people who appreciate good products is the best strategy Apple can follow.

  1. Well, to be truthful, Android continues to see increases in worldwide marketshare. I mean, let’s be real here.

    I’m no Android supporter either. People who know me, online, or in person are well aware of that. But unfortunately, while Apple is gaining in smaller population areas, they’re losing in greater population areas. ]

    What they need to do is to upgrade the SE every year, and treat it the way they treat their flagships. The first year is good, then it progressively wastes away. The rumors that it will be upgraded this year are great, if true. Another thing they need to do is to have a really great $300 phone. Most places can’t afford an expensive model, and instead of being proud of having 80% of the over $600 phone market in China, which, after all, is just the top 10%, they should be aiming for 25% of the 75% of the market overall as well.

    India requires a great $300 phone from Apple, as does South and Central America, places we don’t even see mentioned because Apple’s share is so low.

    The reality of the world is not our reality, or that of Canada, Europe, or Japan.

    1. A cheap iPhone would tarnish the aspirational quality of the iPhone brand to render it into one of the ordinary brands which Apple is correct not to want do. You know that.

    2. “But unfortunately, while Apple is gaining in smaller population areas, they’re losing in greater population areas.”

      Reminds me of a map of the USA I looked at recently, delineated in red and blue. I guess that, overall, people in greater population areas have, shall we say, different priorities, than those in smaller population areas.

    3. I disagree with your statement – “Another thing they need to do is to have a really great $300 phone.”

      There is no point to this …. China and soon other countries (recall how textiles started in China, and now China is too high cost and its moving to places like Cambodia/Vietnam, etc.), will continue a race to the bottom. They don’t even need/want Android anymore .. so soon Android will also lose market share, as they have developed individual OS.

      6 Billion people in the world, they all need or want smart phones (aka mini computers with internet connections) …. expecting Apple to be the supplier to the masses is not in line with what Apple does/is …

      Apple is in the race to the top … which is why it takes home all the “profit’ … they do not need majority market share … they just need profit … which they have …

      1. Steven P. Jobs KNEW THIS CASE SENARIO PEOPLE O Lttle knowledge. Steve only wanted 1% HELLO where the Fck have you people BEEN…? Oh that’s RIGHT! . … under a fcking ROCK!

    4. In India, iPhones are seen as aspirational devices. There’s no point in offering a cut price aspirational item. Indians value status highly and an iPhone is seen as an excellent way of demonstrating that you’resuccessfull.

      Obviously we would all welcome paying less for an iPhone, but most of us are smart enough to realise that the sort of engineering that goes into an iPhone doesn’t come cheap and unless we pay a price that allows the manufacturer to make an ongoing profit, that manufacturer won’t be around in the future.

      You only have to glance at the leader board for manufacturers selling to the Chinese market to see how fickle the race is to make cheap smartphones. Different manufacturers appear in the top rankings and then drop out after a few years. On the other hand, Apple may not sell in such massive numbers, but consistently makes an enormous profit and has every expectation of being around for many years to come.

      There might be some mileage in offering older models for emerging markets as they use cheaper components and can be built very efficiently and still remain profitable, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen on a large scale.

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