iOS eating into Android’s global dominance (interactive)

7 May 2015

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Android’s massive share of the EU mobile phone market has receded slightly following Apple’s iPhone 6 success, but it still has a more than two-thirds share in the five largest European markets. But in China, Apple has finally cracked the less affluent buyers…

Android’s massive share of the EU mobile phone market has receded slightly following Apple’s iPhone 6 success, but it still has a more than two-thirds share in the five largest European markets. But in China, Apple has finally cracked the less affluent buyers…

New research from Kantar Worldpanel across the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain shows that iOS devices now represent more than a fifth of the market, up 1.8pc.

However, looking more closely, there’s a confusing reality emerging where iOS steals customers from Android, which appears to then win more business from those who have never owned a smartphone.

For example, in the UK, a quarter of new iOS buyers switched over from Android during the last quarter, even though Android — with its array of pricing options – still dominates.

Android: The price is right

“Thirty-five per cent of consumers who bought an Android smartphone in Q1 2015 said their decision was driven by receiving a good price on the phone,” said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe.

“Another 29pc said that getting a good deal on the tariff/contract was a factor in their purchase.”

Looking at wider Europe, the shift from Android to iOS was larger, however the pricing options available to Android users is clearly the reason behind its global popularity.

Take South America, for example. In Brazil, 90pc of smartphone users are on Android, with 81pc the figure in Argentina.

iOS: China shift could be huge

Mexico (85pc) and China (72pc) also see Android absolutely tearing it up, however, considering iOS is entirely one company, one ridiculously profitable company, it’s still incredible the results it’s raking in. There are also signs that Apple is appealing to the less wealthy now too.

“In urban China, Apple consolidated its leadership in smartphones, growing its share to 26.1pc, up from 17.9pc for the same period in 2014,” said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia.

“Thirty-eight per cent of iPhone buyers were recommended an Apple device by someone they know, while 23pc recall seeing an ad.”

China is now driving more volume for Apple than the US, as the Cupertino company reaches beyond the more affluent buyers. In Q1 2015, Apple represented 25pc of smartphone sales in urban China’s 2,000 to 4,000 RMBs income bracket — a 10pc increase from the same period in 2014.

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com