iPhone makes gains in Europe and China, loses ground to Android in U.S.

In a quarter that's usually flat at best, Apple made market share gains across Europe's big five regions and China while U.S. consumers opted instead for less expensive Android phones.

Apple iPhone sales in many countries outside the U.S. helped boost the company's market share according to research firm Kantar. All of Europe's "big five" markets saw iOS share grow, as did China, which is unsurprising.

Even with record iPhone sales for the quarter though, Android picked up market share in the U.S., further emphasizing that much of Apple's future is tied to regions outside of its home country. iOS share for the second quarter in the U.S., for example, dropped to 30.5 percent from the 32.8 percent share in the year ago period.

You might think that Apple's loss is Samsung's gain, and to some degree it may be. But it's not the only "winner" when it comes to Android phones in the U.S., says Kantar:

"While the Android ecosystem in Europe and China continues to offer several brands to choose from, Android in the U.S. is undergoing its strongest consolidation yet, with Samsung and LG now accounting for 78% of all Android sales. LG is the real success story of the quarter. Not only did it double its share of the U.S. smartphone market once again, but it was also able, for the first time, to acquire more first-time smartphone buyers than Samsung."

Outside the U.S., iOS is on the upswing again, particularly in China, even though Huawei and Xiaomi are doing well with their Android phones there. Apple saw its iOS market share in China rise from 12.8 percent a year ago to 20.1 percent this past April to June.

Although the gains weren't as pronounced in Europe, Apple's share also rose in Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. That's somewhat surprising due to Apple's iPhone refresh cycle; the quarter after the holidays tends to show less growth as we get closer to a new iPhone model.