iOS share didn’t grow in China for the first time since August 2014

For the first time since August 2014, iOS share didn’t grow in urban China as of the three months ending February, according to the latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. However, Android increased its sales share in urban China to 76.4% from 73% in the same period a year ago, according to the research group. In the US and EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom), Android continued to make year-on-year gains.

“iOS declined 3.2 percentage points between February 2015 and February 2016” says Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “Huawei was able to recapture the top spot on the smartphone brand leader board, capturing 24.4% of smartphones sold in urban China, just ahead of Apple’s 22.2%.”

In the US, the average spent on purchasing a smartphone in the three months ending February was $352. For Android buyers that meant that roughly 69% of consumers reported spend under $350, while for iOS buyers, that share was 39%, according to Kantar Wordpanel. This represents a unique opportunity for the newly launched iPhone SE, which, at a $399 price point, will likely appeal to more cost-conscious first-time smartphone buyers who might otherwise be more inclined to pick up an Android smartphone, and to the sizable installed base of iPhone owners who haven’t yet upgraded, Guenveur says.

“With the iPhone SE going on sale last week, we will be closely tracking initial acceptance and uptake of this $399 addition to the iOS offering,” he adds. “There are also significant numbers of potential buyers, particularly in China, who may not be able to afford the high price of a flagship iPhone but may find that the iPhone SE lets them take their first step into the Apple ecosystem.”