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Android took a big hit in Europe thanks to the iPhone – but the interesting question is, why?

Published Aug 5th, 2015 2:10PM EDT
iPhone Vs Android
Image: MacMixing | YouTube

Apple has enjoyed record iPhone sales in each of the three quarters since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched last September. CEO Tim Cook has reminded us on a few occasions that the success Apple’s latest-generation iPhones have enjoyed is coming at the expense of Google’s Android platform, as more users than ever are leaving Android to buy iPhones.

Much of the new iPhones’ success has been attributed solely to the larger displays on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While bigger screens are certainly key factors, a new report suggests there’s plenty more to this success story.

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Market research firm Kantar Worldpanel on Wednesday released its latest smartphone market share data for the European region, and it appears as though the second quarter was a good one for Apple.

According to the report, Apple’s iOS platform made gains in each of the five largest countries in Europe. Meanwhile, Android saw mixed results in the June quarter, and suffered its largest on-year market share drop in Germany since last year.

“Apple iOS returned to growth across all of Europe’s ‘big five’ markets, as it recorded its first year-on-year gain in France since February 2015,” Kantar analyst Carolina Milanesi said.

The results were in stark contrast to the U.S., where Kantar found that Android enjoyed stronger gains in Q2. “In the U.S., as we forecasted last month, Android’s growth continued in the quarter ending June 30, with both Samsung and LG increasing their share sequentially,” Milanesi said. “Forty-three percent of all Android buyers mentioned a ‘good deal on the price of the phone’ as the main purchase driver for their new device.”

That last sentence is an interesting one. American shoppers bought Android phones in large part because they were looking for a good deal. Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, Android users are jumping ship to the iPhone because the newest models have larger screens, right?

“In Europe, Android’s performance was mixed, posting its strongest year-on-year share drop in Germany since the beginning of 2015,” Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo observed. “The size of the screen was the main purchase driver for Android buyers across all of Europe’s big five countries. Although screen size has grown in importance as a purchase driver since the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iOS buyers are generally driven by a wider list of factors, such as phone reliability and durability, as well as the quality of the materials.”

So, according to Kantar’s findings, screen size was actually the biggest purchase driver for consumers buying Android phones, while iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers sought out those phones for their reliability, durability and quality.

An interactive visualization detailing Kantar’s second-quarter global mobile market share data is embedded below.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.