The latest smartphone operating system data from Kantar for the three months ending March 2019, shows Android accounted for 79.3% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets.
The research group says Android’s strong performance was primarily thanks to Samsung holding share steady and solid gains from Huawei and Xiaomi. Apple’s iOS saw its share fall by two percentage points to 20.1% in Europe. However, the American market proved a brighter spot for Apple, as it boosted its U.S. share in the quarter to 45.5%, an increase of 6.5 percentage points on the year.
“iPhone XR was a strong performer for Apple this quarter, outselling the combined iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in Europe and claiming the title of the best-selling model in Great Britain,” says Dominic Sunnebo, global director for Kantar. “In Europe, iPhone XR and iPhone XS/Max models both play an important role in managing Apple’s base – 16% of XS and XS Max buyers upgraded from an iPhone X, compared to less than 1% of iPhone XR buyers.”
As smartphone prices rise rapidly, iPhone XR provides Apple with a way to keep its customers with older models continuing to upgrade regularly, and less tempted by the competition, he adds. In the U.S., Apple continued to dominate at a brand level, with the iPhone XR accounting for more than one in every 10 smartphones sold, while the Android carriers competed for market share.
In urban China, iOS’ share of the market fell by 0.4 percentage points, which Sunnebo says is “a reasonably robust performance given the intense competition from local brands Huawei and Xiaomi.” Apple’s 2018 flagship, iPhone X, was the top selling model in the quarter, with the iPhone XS Max and the XR just making it into the top 10 best-selling devices.
The price differential between Apple and the wider urban Chinese market also reduced in the latest period, with Apple average selling price falling by 2% year on year to ¥5698, against a market rise of 5%. This has helped cushion Apple from competitive pressure, according to Kantar.