"In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.”
In Europe, iOS share grew 6.2% year-on-year while Android fell 3.8% to 66.1%. Great Britain saw the biggest jump in iOS share, growing by 13.1%.
“Italy was the only European market where Android grew,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. “Considering the strong pre-pay market and the wider direct channel it is not a surprise that Android products – with their value for money proposition – continue to appeal to Italian consumers.”
While Xiaomi was the best selling brand in China, Apple was able to close the gap slightly.
“In Urban China, Apple iOS grew share year-on-year at the expense of Android,” explained Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “While Xiaomi remained the bestselling brand in the latest period, Apple was able to close the gap slightly, growing its share to 21.5% from 19% last year.” Almost a quarter of Chinese consumers who bought an iPhone in the past three months were acquiring their first smartphone, compared to 16.5% for the same period in 2013.
Kantar notes that smartphone penetration has reached 59% in the U.S. and 67% in Europe's top five economies (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). Emerging markets still have a long way to go with Brazil and Mexico having just 35% and 37% penetration, respectively.