International

Android Digs Into Apple's China, Europe Market Share

Apple's losses are Android's gains. At least that's the case in two of their largest smartphone markets — China and Europe — where Android continues to cut into Apple's market share.

Newly released data from Kantar Worldpanel reported that for the first three months of 2016, Android continued growing its sales reach across Europe, the U.S. and China. In the EU, Android gained 7.1 percent to 75.6 percent market share, and in the U.S. it saw a 7.3 percent increase to 65.5 percent. In China, those figures raised 6 percent to more than 77 percent.

“This is the strongest growth for Android across the EU5 in more than two years,” said Lauren Guenveur, mobile analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “What’s more, the growth is coming not just from one or two players, but from different brands and ecosystems, varying from region to region.”

Windows phone sales also dropped five percentage points to become 4.9 percent of overall smartphone sales in the EU. Of the switchers to Android, nearly 7 percent (6.6 percent) of new Android customers came from Windows, compared to the 3.3 percent from iOS.

As for Apple's iOS figures, its market share declined in the EU from 20.2 percent to 18.9 percent in those three months. In China, iOS saw a 21.1 percent decline, down from the 26.1 percent seen a year prior. Some of Android's success in market share increase has been attributed to its latest smartphone release.

“Although it was available for only a few weeks during this sales period, the Samsung Galaxy S7 was the fifth best-selling device in the three months ending March 2016, capturing 4.2 percent of sales,” Guenveur said. “The Galaxy S6 also performed well, due to price reductions before the S7’s release. Motorola experienced higher sales, particularly with Verizon, and grew to 9.8 percent of the smartphone market, up from 6.9 percent a year previously.”

But then again, in China, Apple could eventually take back some of the share once its issues are smoothed out due to the popularity of its new iPhone SE in the region.

“Android share could also be negatively affected by high demand for the Apple iPhone SE. iPhone SE sales will be particularly important in China, where success in the mid-tier will determine the top player in the region. These factors should play out further in the next quarter,” Guenveur said.

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