The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months ending February 2015 shows that Apple’s iOS sales reached an all-time high in urban China, where it captured 27.6 per cent of the smartphone market, primarily because of the popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
In urban China, the iPhone 6 remained the best-selling phone in the period, growing its share to 10.2 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent registered in the three months ending in January.
The iPhone 6 Plus was the third best-selling smartphone and older models are also going strong. The Xiaomi RedMI Note came in at number two.
“With the two flagships, as well as older models still selling strong, Apple was able to grab the top spot in the smartphone manufacturers ranking. Xiaomi stepped down to number two,” said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia.
“There has been a strong appetite for Apple’s products in urban China seen since the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and this has continued into Chinese New Year,” commented Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar.
“Across key global markets Apple’s momentum generally continued from last month, with market share gains in all markets except the US and Japan,” she added.
Android dominates OS wars
Although the iPhone 6 is the top selling device in Great Britain, China and the US, the Android OS continues to dominate global market share.
For instance, in Spain it captured 87.6 per cent of market share compared to the iOS share of 8.7 per cent. In Australia the difference isn’t as stark – Android got 50.6 per cent of market share, down from 58.5 per cent, while iOS had 38.5 per cent, up from 33.9 per cent.
Across Europe, Android’s share declined by 2.9 percentage points year-on-year to 67.6 per cent while iOS rose by 2.9 percentage points.
In Great Britain, as Samsung prepared for the arrival of the new flagships Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, sales of the Galaxy S5 grew slightly over the previous period and captured 8.7 per cent of smartphone sales, making it the second best-selling smartphone after the iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 buyers were mainly attracted to the phone for its reliability/durability (48 per cent) and attractiveness of the design (44 per cent) while Galaxy S5 buyers also valued the phone’s reliability/durability (48 per cent) and the fact the phone was offered on a good deal (tariff/contract – 48 per cent).
In the US, iOS share dipped slightly to 38.8 per cent from 39.3 per cent in 2014, while Android remained more or less the same.
Here too, the iPhone 6 remained the best-selling smartphone, with buyers mentioning its screen size (45 per cent), LTE capability (44 per cent) and the reliability and durability of the device (43 per cent) as the key purchase drivers.
While screen size matters to iPhone 6 buyers, it is even more important for iPhone 6 Plus customers – as 70 per cent cited screen size as their purchase driver.
“The new flagship products in the Android ecosystem by Samsung, HTC, LG and Huawei shipping from April across markets will inject a new spark in the ecosystem battle”, said Milanesi, although she believes “differentiation will remain a challenge in an ecosystem where vendors share such an important common denominator – OS.”
“Samsung’s clear departure from previous generation’s design will certainly help the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to stand out,” she added.