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UK Insights

Apple OS share drops in UK despite iPhone X release

Dominic Sunnebo

Global Insight Director

Mobile 30.01.2018 / 00:07

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The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows more growth for Android

The Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data reveals that in the three months ending December 2017, iOS market share fell by 2.4 percentage points in the UK – but made an overall share gain of 0.7 percentage points to 24.8% across the big five European markets. Android share grew by 3.3 percentage points to dominate the UK market with 55.3%.

But Apple made gains elsewhere: strong results in Spain and Germany, where iOS is nearing a quarter of the market, were also replicated in urban China, Japan and Australia thanks to the performance of Apple’s newest three handsets. Indeed, the flagship iPhone X made it into the top three best-selling devices in the month of December across Europe, urban China, Japan, Australia and the United States. iOS loyalty reached a new high in the US – of iPhone owners who changed device, 96% bought another model from Apple – though its sales share fell 0.5 percentage points to 43.9% in the country.  

Despite a strong performance by iOS across most markets, Android losses have to some extent been cushioned by the rapid fall of Windows, whose share now stands at under 1% in all markets except Italy. Just 0.2% of smartphone operating systems in the UK are Windows.

These full results for the last quarter of the year show that Apple’s decision to release three new handsets over a staggered period, including the ultra high-end iPhone X, has been a sound one.  With Apple’s existing release structure, expectations would always be that the flagship model would be the top selling device in key developed markets, but with the premium price of iPhone X, real life affordability has come into play. Given that in December iPhone X made it into the top three best-selling devices across all key regions, particularly in urban China where it was the top selling model, the pricing strategy seems to have been vindicated. (The iPhone X was the best-selling model in the UK in both November and December 2017.)

Samsung’s performance in the final quarter of 2017 should not be overlooked. In Europe, Samsung gave a very strong performance, with sales share of its smartphones up 2.2 percentage points to 31.3%, growing ahead of not just Apple but also Huawei, which has enjoyed a prolonged period of accelerated growth. In the UK, Samsung sales share is up 1.2 percentage points year-on-year to 27.5%, with the mid-tier Samsung Galaxy A series now making up 1 in 5 of Samsung Galaxy sales compared to 1 in 10 the previous year. 

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

About Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s Smartphone OS Market Share Data

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s smartphone OS market share data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date sales and market share figures for the major smartphone operating systems.

This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel.  ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior – including phone purchases, bills/airtime, source of purchase, and usage. It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the drivers of share changes, and consumer insight market dynamics. All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales.

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