Before, during and after launch, there was a narrative that existed on a handful of tech blogs. Because the new handsets used the same hardware design for the third consecutive year, they were “boring.” Now, there’s precious little question that Apple fans would have liked to see a fresh new design on the iPhone 7. After all, Apple typically introduces new designs every other year and after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 was due for a visual refresh. But in 2016, Apple chose not to change the look of the phones, instead reusing its iPhone 6 design for a second time. Why? As we explained months before the iPhone 7 was even unveiled, Apple is planning a big design overhaul for the iPhone 8 so it chose to focus on performance and features in 2017 rather than the housing design.
Does that make the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus boring? Was this a misstep on Apple’s part? Will iPhone sales take a hit as a result? Apple doesn’t report its holiday-quarter earnings for another three weeks so we don’t yet know sales numbers, but early market share data from Kantar suggests Apple’s new iPhones are a hit.
According to new data released this week by leading market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s new iPhone models stole a significant amount of market share from Android during the holiday shopping period last year. Of the 10 markets covered in Kantar’s report, Apple saw year-over-year growth in six key regions while Android’s share of the smartphone market grew in four regions.
In the United States, Apple’s iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6s were three best-selling smartphones during the three-month period ended in November. According to Kantar, the three devices combined to account for 31.3% of all smartphone sales in the US. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge took the numbers four and five spots, combining to account for 28.9% of all smartphone sales in the region.
Apple’s share of the US smartphone market climbed 6.4% on-year to 43.5% in the three months ended in November, while Android slipped 5.1% to 55.3%.
The iPhone enjoyed its largest gains in the UK, where sales of Apple’s iPhone lineup grew 9.1% year-over-year to 48.3%. At the same time, Kantar says Android’s share of smartphone sales slid 1.8% to 49.6%. iPhone’s share of the market also grew in France, Italy, Spain and across the EU5 region as a whole. Google’s share of the smartphone market grew slightly across EU5 as well, in addition to Germany, Italy and China.