iOS sees market growth thanks to iPhone 13 series popularity

iPhone sales are just 2% shy of Huawei’s in urban Mainland China, and Android remains near flat in all countries except for GB.
11 May 2022
jennifer chan

Global Strategic Insight Director

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iOS market share has grown significantly in the last year, thanks to the popularity of the iPhone 13, according to new research from Kantar’s ComTech. The study, looking at smartphone sales across US, Mainland China, Australia and Japan and five European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), finds iPhone 13 has driven growth for iPhone overall, with Android sales share remaining near flat in all countries (except for Great Britain). Urban Mainland China and Italy see the biggest growth in iOS sales share (5.9% and 6.8% respectively).

iPhone 13 series drives growth for iPhone overall by addressing customer pain points

The success of iPhone 13 series has been visible across all the markets we observe, with at least one of the top three iOS models sold from iPhone’s latest launch. Its popularity stems from the product continuing to address consumer demands and pain points. Among consumers intending to purchase a new smartphone in the next six months, iPhone 13 series addresses two of the three pain points customers face with their current device: battery life, storage capacity and camera quality. For Europeans, battery life, screen size, reliability / durability, camera quality, and features of the OS are the top five reasons for purchasing iPhone 13 series.

External factors have also played a role in the growth of iOS market share. In Italy for example, iOS benefits from the continued decline of Huawei, and makes up nearly half of the top 15 models sold in Italy. In Urban Mainland China, iPhone takes advantage of declining Huawei sales (down 9% pts year on year). In Q1 2022, iPhone sales are just 2% shy of Huawei sales in Urban Mainland China.

Android stays flat

Despite the initial excitement of Xiaomi in Q1 2021, Xiaomi sales decline this quarter in EU5, down by 2% points year on year (the market driving greatest decline being Italy, down 8% points). Despite Oppo demonstrating promise for Android, with year on year sales growth of 2% points, and Samsung continuing to hold the number one brand sold position (up 2% points year on year), this is not enough to offset the losses from Huawei and Xiaomi.

In Urban Mainland China, Huawei’s sales performance plummeted from 24% share in Q1 2021 to just 15% sales share in the latest quarter, reflective of the challenges the brand has faced with chip and component shortages over the last couple of years. Meanwhile, iPhone, Xiaomi and smaller Chinese brands have taken advantage – all growing in sales share year on year.

Of other new releases in EU5, Google’s Pixel 6 series sales are driven by camera quality and battery life features. Meanwhile, Galaxy Z Flip3 sales are driven by innovation drivers such as design attractiveness and the folding screen, however, these features are less common as consumer pain points.

With COVID restrictions lifted globally, we’ve seen a higher proportion of smartphones being purchased in-store in Q1 2022 compared to last year, particularly across Mainland China, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan. That said, in all reported markets except Mainland China, online sales remain higher than before the pandemic; demonstrating that the online channel shares gained from the accelerated growth of ecommerce, during the height of the pandemic, will remain. Therefore, for retailers and manufacturers a strategy for converting online sales is just as important as physical stores.

Access our data visualization tool to view and analyze smartphone OS market share data online. The latest sales share figures for the major operators can be viewed and compared with historical figures, and all graphics within our dataviz are available to embed in your site.

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