Apple and Samsung surge as new launches drive share

23 October 2019
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Global Strategic Insights Director, Worldpanel Division

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Kantar today revealed its smartphone OS data for the third quarter of 2019. After a week of sales of its latest iPhone models, data reveals that iOS accounts for 18.9% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets (EU5), with new launches helping it to see positive year-on-year growth across all five major European markets. Conversely Android saw its share fall in EU5 (-1.5%pts), though this trend was reversed in USA where it was up +1.8%pts. Despite Android OS’s overall fall in market share in European markets, Samsung was the fastest growing major brand in the region.

Q3 2019 saw Apple launch its new iPhone 11 family and with just over a week of sales available, the new models contributed to 7.4% of Apple’s overall iPhone unit sales in Q3 2019, up from 6.6% from the launch of the iPhone XS family in Q3 2018. The new models are all selling well, with the more competitively priced iPhone 11 is leading in absolute terms, but the Pro models are not far behind. Combined sales of the new models are up vs. the iPhone XS launch a year ago. In the US the model split of sales for the new iPhones is similar to the EU, though the overall contribution to Apple’s total iPhone sales in the quarter is notably larger at 10.2%.

Samsung also saw strong growth in the five major European markets, with share hitting 38.4% in Q3 2019, up +5.9%pts vs. Q3 2018.

Whilst the flagship Note 10 series launch provided a boost to Samsung in Q3 2019, it is the highly competitive new A series which has launched Samsung share to its highest share since in Europe since Q3 2015. New A Series models account for five of the top ten best-selling models in Europe and account for the entire top 3; #1 A50, #2 A40, #3 A20e. For years Samsung has been searching for an answer to Huawei and Xiaomi in Europe and the new A series has finally hit the mark, proving hugely popular with consumers across numerous price brackets.

Having previously chosen to overlook the majority of the A series portfolio in the US, Samsung has used its new revitalised A series range to address a gap in its mid-tier offering, with the A10 and A20 selling well. With Google looking for white space with its Pixel 3a and 3a XL models and LG having little competition in the low and mid-tier, Samsung has immediately confronted these threats.

Apple share fell slightly in China, the world’s largest Smartphone market, down -1.3%pts. The pendulum continues to swing towards home grown Chinese brands, who accounted for 79.3% of sales in the Chinese market in Q3 2019. Huawei and Honor combined made up 46.8% sales share, maintaining its dominant position from the previous quarter, helping to cushion the impact from the US – China trade spat.

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