Android Sales Up, But iPhone 7 Performs Strongly

Android remains the dominant ecosystem across the world, but Apple’s iPhone remains the most desirable smartphone in the world.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (Communications Technology) measures consumer behaviour about smartphones to gain insights and identify trends. Its 60 country-based consumer panels measure what the sample buys, and what they intend to buy.

Its Q3, 2016 panel report shows that iOS achieved year-on-year (YoY) growth in most markets except China (down 5.4% to 17.1%). Japan tops iOS use with 51.7% (up 1.4%).

Android had growth in most markets with Europe combined up 4% to 75.2%, China up 7.9% to 82.6%, and Australia up .8% to 55.7%.

Kantar Worldpanel is about what has been bought by its panel of representative people – brands mainly rely on it for marketing strategy development. Other figures from IDC (sell-in) and Gartner (sell-out) show Android globally at around 85-90% and iOS at 10-12% in Q3, 2016. Different methodologies produce different figures and one cannot compare YoY with specific quarters – it is about trends.

Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented:

“Apple iPhone 7 – The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for US iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top-selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6% of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full quarter.

“Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the 4th best-selling device in the US at 5.3% but behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7/Edge.

“Google achieved 0.5% of smartphone sales in the US, a strong showing given that the Pixel was only widely available from October 20th. In that short time, Google has reached market parity with more established brands like Huawei and Microsoft, who are also at 0.5%.

“Android remains the dominant ecosystem, topping 75% across the globe, except those regions most focused on premium devices (Japan). This is no surprise as Android’s business model provides consumers with a variety of brands and price points.

“It is unlikely that any other OS will ever reach Android’s penetration. But the apparent lopsided market share figures are not a reason for doubting the strength or future of the position held by Apple’s iOS. While Android dominates regarding the raw number of devices, it powers, Apple remains the most desirable smartphone brand in the world.”

Guenveur also commented on the news that Nokia would make a return under Android soon and its impact on other major players.

“Whenever I mention the Nokia brand name, I often hear the response, ‘That was my first cell phone!’ Nostalgia for Nokia handsets runs very high since Nokia took an early market lead at the dawn of the cellular phone industry. The Nokia brand name’s re-emergence will likely have its largest impact in Europe.

“For Samsung, already facing increased competition from Huawei across mainland Europe, this may signal an additional threat, as Nokia’s strength was in the mid- and low-ends of the market, exactly where Samsung is currently losing customers to Huawei.

“And for Huawei, the Nokia-branded products rolling out of the Foxconn factories could create obstacles for its bid to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.”

By: Ray Shaw

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