Android triumphs in the US for June quarter, assisted by Samsung S6

Apple-Android lightsabers

The race between Apple and Android continues and has been going on for a long time and still not a clear winner. This quarter the one OS wins, the next quarter the other one does. According to new research, Android appears to be edging Apple slightly, at least in the US.

The research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech looks at the last three months ending May 2015.

The research shows that Android continues to reclaim market share in the US, increasing by 2.8 percentage points to 64.9%. The same research also point out that Android is not doing as well in the big five markets in Europe, i.e. Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. In Europe for example, compared to the same period in 2014, Android is not showing improvement and has dropped 2.9 percentage points.

This is interesting news considering that the uptake to Lollipop has not been great and the roll out quite shabby by Android. Instead Android has opted for Android M, an update that will be rolled out to the majority of the people by 2016.

Read more: Rise of the Android: 1 billion devices shipped in 2014

One of the winners in this period has been Samsung, the research notes. In the three month period, the Galaxy S6 became the third best selling smartphone in the US after the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5. The Samsung regained the market lead in the US and grow its share of Android sales from 52% to 55% for the three months ending in May.

The momentum of iOS slowed, especially in the US, as share declined, both period-over-period and year-over-year.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, says that

“Sales of Android-based smartphones were fueled not only by Samsung, but also by LG, which was able to nearly double its share of the US smartphone market year-over-year,”
Other manufactures were not as lucky though. The likes of HTC and Motorola struggled. Their sahre decreased both year-over-year and period-over-period. However, Milanesi points out that this is not entirely a bad thing and that HTC and Motorola’s failure raises hopes for competitors that do not have a solid ground on the US market like Huawei and Sony.

Outside of the US, iPhone triumphed. Earlier in the first quarter of the month, iPhone was well received in China. In these last three months though it dominated in Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France.

“Britain remains the iOS stronghold, forcing Android vendors to rely more on winning customers from Apple than from other Android players,” said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe.” In the three months ending in May, only 5% of new Android buyers came from Apple, compared to 11% for the same period in 2014.”

In China, there is an interesting race between Apple, Huawei and Xiaomi. Xiaomi has been the darling of China, selling big numbers of devices. Something has changed in the last three months. Huawei took the number two spot and Xiaomi settled for third.

There is however a slight difference in the market that these three devices are going for. Apple and Xiaomi are aimed at the same market, even though Xiaomi is cheaper than Apple. Huawei, the report notes, is aimed at consumers with a monthly income of less than 2000 RMBs.

“Geographically, close to 7% of Apple’s sales come from the top four cities in China – Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen – while for Xiaomi, that number is 2%.” Notes Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia

Milanesi adds that “China has become the most interesting market for mobile, both in terms of the importance it plays in a vendor’s success, and its role as an incubator of new brands that quickly gain global status.”

It is very clear that China is an intersting market when it comes to buying behaviour. With the introduction of LG G4, it would be interesting to see how the market will change.



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