iPhone sales usually drop in the months leading up to a major iPhone launch, since more informed buyers interested in purchasing an Apple smartphone would rather wait for the new models to launch than buy last year’s device. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for the iPhone 6 and other iPhones still being sold by Apple, which continued to sell rather well in the quarter preceding the iPhone 6s’ arrival.
Apple has yet to announce iPhone sales numbers for the quarter ending in September, but new research data from Kantar WorldPanel suggests that in the three month period ending August 15, iOS lost market share to Android only in the U.S., while gaining significantly in the primary European markets, especially the ones where postpaid plans dominate the market. Even in China, a major mobile market hit by recent economic woes, the iPhone continue to gain market share.
“In urban China, smartphone sales represented 84% of overall phone sales in the three months ending in August with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at the top of the list of best-selling models,” Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia Tamsin strategic insight director Timpson said. “Buyers mentioned clarity and resolution of the screen (58%), quality of the camera (54%), and the size of the screen (51%), as the three most important purchase drivers.”
These findings indicate the iPhone 6s might become an even bigger problem for Android in those markets where consumers are willing to pay a premium for a high-end smartphone.
“Across Europe’s ‘big five,’ Android continues to struggle, with only the heavily prepaid markets of Italy and Spain registering a year-over-year share growth,” Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe business unit director Dominic Sunnebo said. “In Great Britain, Samsung, the undisputed Android leader, dropped market share both period-over-period and year-over-year, while Sony and LG were the only two Android vendors able to grow share over the last year and over the three months ending in July 2015.”
The table above and the following graph show Apple and Google’s performance during the period in various markets including Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Spain, but also for the U.S., China, Australia, Japan.
Of all these markets, Apple’s iOS dropped share only in the U.S. compared to the same period last year (a 2.1% drop, representing a 12-month low for the iPhone maker), with Android gaining 2.5% in the same timeframe. The numbers don’t account the month of September, which is when the iPhone 6s was released in several of these markets (Italy and Spain weren’t included in Apple’s usual first launch wave for the iPhone).