Kantar: Apple makes strong gains in the U.S. smartphone market

The latest smartphone operating system data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech shows a mixed picture for Android, which while losing ground to iOS in the U.S. has made significant gains across the five main European markets in the three months ending in September. 

“Healthy early sales of iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max models in the States are good news for Apple,” says Dominic Sunnebo, global director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Combined with the continued strong momentum we’re seeing among its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, these sales have contributed to a 5.0 percentage point increase in OS share for Apple in the US – the biggest gain seen worldwide this quarter.”

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The  iPhone 8 was the top selling model in the U.S. over the quarter, with a 9.4% share of the handset market. With the iPhone XR launching outside this period Kantar expects Apple share to tick up further towards the end of the year.”

“The picture is different in Europe, with competition remaining fierce among Android handset brands,” says Sunnebo. “European consumers are holding on to their handsets more than two months longer than they were in 2016 meaning the introduction of innovative new models is more important than ever.”

Apple continues to lead handset sales in Japan despite strong pressure from Sharp and Huawei, according to Katnar.  Both brands have seen strong gains, increasing their share of sales by six  percentage points and 3.2 percentage points, respectively.

In China, each of the top three brands this quarter – Huawei, Xiaomi and Apple – saw their market share increase year-on-year.  The Xiaomi Mi 8 was the best-selling model during the period while iPhone models made up three out of next four best-selling models, led by iPhone X.