iPhone 5S outsold iPhone 5c three to one in the UK

iPhone 5S outsold iPhone 5c three to one in the UK

Summary: Windows Phone continues to rise as well as consumers grab the cheaper Nokia Lumia models.


Apple's iPhone 5s is proving to be a hit with UK consumers, at least compared to the cheaper iPhone 5c, but Apple's overall share of sales in the country is still less than it was a year ago.

That's according to new figures based on Kantar World Panel ComTech's consumer survey data for sales during the three months to the end of October.

Britain is a bright spot for Apple's iPhone 5s/5c release in otherwise tough conditions in Europe for Apple.

Despite record launch sales reaching nine million for the two models this September, Apple's share of quarterly smartphone sales continues to slide in Europe's big five — Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. A year ago iOS made up 20 percent of sales, which has fallen to 15.8 percent today, according to Kantar, leaving Windows Phone a bigger seller in Italy and about to overtake iOS in France and Spain.

Apple's falling share contrasts to gains over the year by Android and Windows Phone, which are up around five percentage points each to 70.9 percent and 10.2 percent respectively across Europe's big five.

Even in the UK, where Apple has its largest retail store count in Europe, the iOS share of sales has declined from 32.7 percent a year ago to 28.7 percent today.

While iPhone 5s sales outstrip 5c in the UK, Kantar consumer insights director Dominic Sunnebo noted that the iPhone 5c is helping draw new consumers in the US from other brands.

"Almost half of iPhone 5c owners switched from competitor brands, particularly Samsung and LG, compared with 80 percent of 5s owners who upgraded from a previous iPhone model," Sunnebo wrote.

In the case of the Nokia Lumia-dominated sales of Windows Phone devices it's the cheaper devices such as Nokia's Lumia 520 and 620 driving the platform's rise over the past year.

"In Britain, almost three quarters of Nokia Lumia sales in the latest period were low-end devices such as the Lumia 520 and 620 – a pattern that is similar across other EU markets," Sunnebo noted.

Windows Phone made up 11.9 percent of smartphone sales in the UK, up from 4.6 percent a year ago, according to Kantar. In France, Windows Phone 12.5 percent share of sales is only a whisker off iOS, which accounted for 15.9 percent of sales (down from 19.5 percent a year ago), while in Italy, Windows Phone's 16.1 percent share has already eclipsed the iOS share of 10.1 percent.   

The issue that may be helping Windows Phone and hurting Apple in Europe are the lower carrier subsidies available to consumers, particularly Germany and Italy, according to Sunnebo.

 Further reading

Topics: iOS, Android, Apple, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Phone

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • iPhone 5s

    It's hardly surprising, the market expectation was for a 'cheap iPhone', the reality is a repackaged iPhone 5, at a discount that does not make it worthwhile to buy.

    Apple should have kept the iPhone 3GS going, as the cheap iPhone, and kept IOS7 on that and the venerable iPod Touch G4's.
    • re:iPhone 5s

      Of course the 5c was the repackaged 5 with brighter colors, that what it was marketed as because it is a replacement. It has a couple improvements over the 5 including longer battery life and such. It not the 5s, but it is half the price. $100 vs $200. It is a good deal. I went from iPhone 3gs which was missing a lot of features that the 5c has.
      • Not really half the price

        When you're thinking 100 vs 200, yes it seems like the phone is half the price but the true cost of the phone is hidden in the 2 year contract.

        To prove my point, go check out phone service options that are off contract.

        In the end, you actually end up paying more for the phone with the 2 year contract.

        Also, many countries don't have subsidized phone contracts like the US and they have to pay for the phone upfront.

        The whole "oh, you only have to pay this much with a 2 year contract" is a very American way of thinking that other countries try to avoid because the cost is usually greater in the long run.
        Irving-Michelle Müller
  • The next Nokia

    Apple has fallen from grace several times in the past. Could this be their final hurrah?
    They have almost completely failed to innovate lately and I think people are now sick of their "We invented everything" rants.
    • What a completely useless, uninformed comment

      Failed innovation? Motion coprocessor? TouchID? 64-bit CPU? Please.
      More to the point, what evidence prompts your "Apple is failing" rant? Apple's profits are up year over year and quarter over quarter. Likewise too, number of iPhones sold is up over last year and last quarter. But, but… market share, um…. Wrong. Marketshare has NO relation to units sold. You can very easily lose marketshare and increase units sold, and, thereby, profit. The overall market expanded as a result of more people overall shifting from feature phones to smartphones, and most of those doing so are clearly going for cheap, feature-poor devices, like, well, all those Windows phones.
      • Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5s is 3 days

        MS couldn't sell 1 million Surface (RT?) in 3 months. More so, last we heard MS had 6 million Surface RT sitting in a warehouse that they couldn't sell.

        MS sold 1 million XB1 in 13 countries. Sony sold 1 million PS4 just in the USA.

        Win 8 is 12 months old and still barely has a few percent of the market.

        iPhone has about 35% of the market; whereas WP8 is still struggling to get to 10%.

        I know which company is in strife . . . and it ain't Apple!
      • New info this morning that Sony has sold 2.1 million PS4 so far

        compared to MS sales of only 1 million XB1 across 13 countries. What a mess for mess . . .
        • Not exactly true...

          Microsoft only produced 1 million XBox One consoles in the first round, so, they could not sell more than they had produced. The Black Friday sales figures are still not known, but it's expected that the figures will show XBox One outselling PS4 soon.

          Then there's this:

          "However, in the US the Xbox One may be taking the lead, becoming the best-selling console during the country’s annual Black Friday sales event. Analysts InfoScout reported that both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One outsold the PS3 and PS4, with Microsoft’s consoles collecting 61% of console sales on the day in comparison with Sony’s 30 per cent."

        • Look here...

  • Market Share

    I don't understand why authors are so stupid to concentrate on Apple's market share all the time. If you read Liam's article above he focuses exclusively on market share and not profits. If you look at profit and revenue that's where Apple shines and that's where it counts. Apple made more money from iPhone sales in the past 4 quarters than Microsoft as a whole company.

    I don't see people complaining about Ferrari not lowering their prices to gain market share. I don't see people complaining to Gucci for charging $600 for a pair of shoes. But, but, if Gucci charged $80 for shoes they would have a greater market share! Really?

    Apple targets the premium market, it's always been that way. When will these people wake up? Yes, that includes you Liam Tung.
    • Falling Marketshare Can Be a Problem

      Falling marketshare can be a huge issue. Apple's Macs are nice computers, but they don't compete on the low end. Their share is so small, it's difficult to get the word out. I'd argue that Macs are doing as well as they are because of how popular iPhones are.

      If the iPhone continues to lose marketshare, all other Apple products are at risk of reducing their marketing sell through.

      Marketshare is a critical part of the equation at all levels.

      If Windows phones continue to increase their marketshare, more and more people will decide to look at those phones and that can further decline Apple.
      • Um, wrong.

        "Falling marketshare can be a huge issue. Apple's Macs are nice computers, but they don't compete on the low end."

        I though you were attempting to show how loss of marketshare can be a problem? Apple is not competing at the low end because they have no machines targeted there. So no marketshare makes NO indication as to the health of their business. In the market where they do compete, the high end, Apple has more market share that ALL other competitors. Combined.
        Nor does it make a hill of beans difference if Macs are doing as well as they are because of the iPhone or not. But note that you failed to provide even a cursory justification for this claim.
        As to your next comment, as the market for phones is TOTALLY different that that for computers, losing market share in one, even if it IS related as you claim, has NO affect on the other.
        Seriously, you would do well to take even single class in statistics before taking anything you conclude seriously.

        Case in point: WinPhone cold TRIPLE in marketshare, and have ZERO affect on Apple continuing to increase in units sold and profit year over year.

        Innumeracy is clearly at play.
        • i suggest you look at apples numbers

          Profit margins are down
          Revenue is flat year over year
          IPad sales are down year over year and for consecutive quarters.

          The only metric that has gone up for apple is iPhone sales.

          So yes, the declining market share is affecting apple.

          The trend should be scaring investors and apple.
          • I suggest you reexamine your numbers, as they are wrong.

  • Worth noting...

    Anecdotal maybe, but ALL I ever see phone wise in the UK, is the iPhone. On trains, buses, in queues, shops, restaurants, football matches, the street...everywhere. It all iPhone.
    I don't know where they are shippingp these Android and Windows phones to, but it doesn't appear to be into users hands. The online and shopping stats also say its the iPhone out in front.
    • Same here in Australia

      I simply never see anything much other than iDevices.