Resurgence of iOS continues on back of iPhone 7: Kantar

Apple's regular end-of-year bounce in market share is going much better than it was 12 months ago, Kantar has said.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The year-long mobile share tug-of-war between Apple and Android is far spicier now than it was this time last year, according to the latest data from Kantar.

For the three months ending November 30, iOS saw a 3 percentage point increase to 43.5 percent in the United States compared to October's numbers, and a large jump on the 37 percent reported a year ago.

A similar pattern was exhibited in the UK, where Android dipped below majority market share for the first time since November 2014, according to Kantar. In the land of Brexit, iOS had 48.3 percent market share, compared to 49.6 percent for Android.

In Australia, Android held 50.1 percent of the market, compared to 46.4 percent for iOS.

Kantar said the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s held the top three spots for most popular smartphones in the US, with 31.3 percent collective market share. Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge models took out the next two slots, with the Google Pixel collecting 1.3 percent of sales.

The iPhone 7 topped the smartphone selling charts in Australia with 18.9 percent, followed by the Galaxy S7 on 8.1 percent. Kantar said Australian males aged 35 and over have been increasingly opting for Android handsets priced between AU$400 and AU$700 in the country, making up 58 percent of all buyers in that category, and as a result Huawei, Oppo, and ZTE have chipped almost 3 percent off Samsung's market share compared to last year, to sit at 59.4 percent for the Korean giant.

For China, iOS was down 5 points year on year to 20 percent -- following a trend pointed out by IDC in October last year.

"Nearly 80 percent of all smartphones sold in Urban China during the three months ending November 2016 were Android, as local brands continued to dominate the market," said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia.

"Huawei represented 25 percent of all sales, but its share declined 3.1 percentage points from the three-month period ending October 2016, marking only its second period of decline in more than two years."

The year-long cycle seen in Kantar's numbers typically sees Apple spike during the first couple of months of each year, followed by a nadir in the northern hemisphere summer, and increases once a new iPhone model is announced in September. Market share for Android is a reflection of this pattern.

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