Huawei Gains Ground in Top Five Markets

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the third quarter of 2015 confirms the trend seen over the previous two months, with Android gaining market share in the U.S. while losing ground in Europe’s big five markets.

Europe’s big five markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

“Thanks to an increase in marketing focus and the weakening of brands such as Sony, HTC, and Motorola, Huawei was able to rise to second place among Android brands in Europe from sixth place in 2014,” reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “With a wider portfolio of products ranging from the high-end all the way to the low-end, Huawei made particular inroads in Spain and Italy.”

“In Great Britain, iOS held the strongest share ever recorded in a September quarter since we began tracking this market,” said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. “In the Android camp, Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG were the only brands growing share during the quarter. Samsung now represents 53% of all Great Britain Android sales compared to 50% for the same time a year ago, while LG grew from 6% to 9%. These gains, however, were not enough to compensate for other Android-based manufacturers losses, leaving the OS to record yet another year-on-year decline.”

“In the U.S., it was too early for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to make much of an impact on overall share, as they were only available for the last few days of the quarter. Early sales are certainly positive, however, with the new models having made up 11% of overall quarterly iPhone sales despite such a short availability window,” Milanesi added. “It is also interesting to note that iPhone sales through the Apple Store almost doubled compared to 3Q14, registering 7.9% in the third quarter of 2015, up from 7.7% in the three months ending in August. While it is too early to link this to the new iPhone Upgrade Program, the trend is certainly worth watching.”

“In urban China, with a market share that grew 72% over the third quarter of 2014, Huawei remained the top brand followed by Xiaomi and Apple,” Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia, commented. “iOS continued to grow year over year with 56% of iPhone buyers during the quarter switching from Android and with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus retaining their positions as the best-selling and second best-selling smartphones.”

“Next month all eyes will be on Apple’s performance in the U.S. and China, as many observers continue to doubt the size of the remaining opportunity for Apple,” Milanesi explained. “Twenty-eight percent of consumers in China who own smartphones plan to upgrade in the next 12 months. Among them, 79% of those who own iPhones, and 25% of those who own Android devices, say they prefer Apple.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine