iPhone sees market share rise in US, decline in China - but Android still dominates

The disappearing headphone jack seems to have had little impact on US iPhone sales, says research company.


Have Apple's iPhone sales benefited from Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 battery woes?

Image: iStock

The iPhone's share of the smartphone market in the US has increased -- but in China, it has dropped in China, according to new figures.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data, for the three months ending October 2016, it's Japan where iOS has the greatest share, with 51.7 percent of smartphone sales, followed by 44 percent in the UK, and 40.5 percent in the US.

In the US that means iPhone sales grew seven percentage points year-on-year. In contrast Android's market share dropped by 5.6 percentage points, marking its fifth consecutive year-on-year decline. Kantar said this represented the strongest growth for iOS in more than two years, as well as the highest share seen since the three months ending January 2015.

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That may comes as a surprise as the iPhone 7 was seen by some as a slightly underwhelming update. But it's possible that Apple has benefited from Samsung's woes in the shape of the Galaxy Note 7 battery saga.

"The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for US iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6 percent of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full three month period," said Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

She said the iPhone 7 Plus was the fourth best-selling device in the US, at 5.3 percent of sales, behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7. Google achieved 0.5 percent of smartphone sales in the US, putting it on a par with Huawei and Microsoft.

In China, however, the picture is somewhat different: while the iPhone 7 was the second-best selling phone in urban China in the three months to October 2016, iOS market share stood at 17.1 percent compared to Android's 82.6 percent -- and lower than a year ago when iOS share stood at 22.5 percent.

In the three months ending October 2016, Android accounted for 75.2 percent of smartphone sales across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. iOS market share dipped in Germany -- down 2.7 percentage points to 16.5 percent of smartphone sales.

"Android remains the dominant ecosystem, topping 75 percent across much of the globe", said Guenveur.

"This is not a surprise, nor should it be, as Android's business model provides consumers with a variety of brands and pricepoints from which to choose," Guenveur adds. "It's unlikely that any other OS will ever reach this level of penetration."

Read more about the iPhone and iOS market share