It’s statistics time ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of data collected by Kantar Worldpanel. Today we are taking a look at the global market share of smartphones sales in the three months leading into May 2014, and once again it is good news for our operating system of choice.
Android continues its dominance in the vast majority of major world markets, securing, 73, 62, and 83 percent of the market share in the five largest EU nations, the US, and China respectively. Japan is the only region to defy this trend with 52 percent of sales going to Apple, in contract to the 47 percent share of the market captured by Android. Windows and Blackberry continue their streak of miserable sales across the globe, although some sections of Europe seem to have a soft spot for Microsoft’s operating system, which we will look at in a minute.
In the United States, the majority of those switching to Samsung were LG and HTC users.
Although Android may hold the largest sales share, Apple is still holding on as one of the largest single brands in markets like the US and Europe. In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was the second highest selling smartphone in May, falling just behind the iPhone 5S. Samsung’s total sales claimed 36.8 percent of the market, while Apple’s sales accounted for a close 32.5 percent. It seems like these market shares are rather locked down in the US, with only 8 percent of Samsung’s sales coming from previous iPhone owners.
Although Europe, on the whole, shows a similar trend to China and the US, on a nation by nation basis there are some very unique and interesting trends. Being the diverse continent that Europe is, the United Kingdom seems to have more of a preference for Apple’s products than Germany or Spain, while France falls somewhere in between the two trends. It is worth noting that the UK had the lowest share of Android sales in Europe, although Android still outsold iOS by 2 to 1.
Interestingly, the UK demonstrates a very similar market spread between Android and iOS as the US does. Italy and Spain, on the other hand, seem to purchase Windows Phone products almost as much they do Apple smartphones, a trend that doesn’t appear to be reflected elsewhere in the global picture. Spain comes out as the most Android loving nation of all, with a whopping 87 percent of sales in May 2014 going to the green team. Percentage wise, Spain purchases fewer iPhones than China.
Kantar also has some interesting statistics about Samsung and Apple sales in the EU. Despite the more recent launch of the Galaxy S5, the iPhone 5S and 5C both accumulated more sales over the three month period in the UK, which we might expect from a more Apple friendly nation. However, it seems that EU customers are not as loyal as US consumers, with 17 percent of Samsung’s sales in the continent coming from ex-Apple owners. Only 58 percent of sales came from existing Samsung owners, again suggesting that Samsung is managing to pinch consumers from other Android manufacturers.
Sticking with Android and iOS, we can also compare the global sales figures against the same period in 2013 to see how tastes are changing.
As you can see, Europe and Japan seem quite set in their ways, with both Android and iOS making only slight gains over the previous year. The US and China, however, are both showing strong shifts away from Apple in favor of Android. In the US, Android sales grew by 9.9 percent compared with the same period last year, while iOS smartphone sales fell by 9.4 percent. In China, Android sales grew by an even larger 11.3 percent, while Apple sales fell by a similar 9.1 percent.
It seems that, despite the large brand share held by Apple in the US, consumers generally have adopted a wider range of Android brands over the past year. Furthermore, emerging markets like China continue to drift away from expensive Apple imports, in favor of their homeland Android manufacturers.
Percentage wise, Spain purchases fewer iPhones than China.
The data suggests that adoption trends and rates are occurring for a variety of reasons. Within a single continent like Europe, similar sized economies, such as the UK and Germany, are displaying quite different tastes in smartphones, which is unlikely to result from simple explanations like price or perceptions of quality. Meanwhile China’s Android growth is driven by local manufacturers, and Japan continues to display a healthy appetite for Apple imports.
On the whole, Android seems to be the OS best suited to meet the wide range of consumer preferences around the globe, which is likely to be the major factor in its dominant global position.