Android Share Growth Slows After Historic Gains Last Period, While iOS Returns to First Growth Phase in Great Britain Since October 2015
The latest sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months ending in April 2016 shows Android accounted for 67.6% of smartphone sales in the US, followed by iOS at 30.7%.
These survey results are being released during the same week as Apple’s annual software conference, WWDC 2016, and less than a month after Google’s I/O 2016 developers’ conference. The similarities in the services and products launched at those two conferences are noteworthy, according to Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
“Many of the most impressive services introduced at the 2016 Apple and Google conferences featured more intelligent, chattier, smart assistants – Google Assistant and Apple Siri. Google Assistant is finding its way into Google Home, Google’s yet-to-be-released competitor to the Amazon Echo, and messenger app Allo. Apple’s Siri, now open to developers, will become a key element for Apple’s own home automation plans through its new app Home, HomeKit, and Apple TV, as well as an improvement in the iOS messaging app,” Guenveur said.
“Given how important voice recognition will be for new services using Siri and Google Assistant, it is surprising to note that voice is not yet a particular driver of phone satisfaction,” she added. “Just 3.2% of iOS owners and 3.9% of Android users cite voice recognition as a driver of satisfaction, well behind phone reliability/durability at 41.9% for iOS, and screen size at 45.2% for Android. But, as voice becomes an integral part of the user experience, we should expect its low prioritization to change.”
Global Market Data
During the three-month period ending April 2016, Android made year-on-year gains across other regions, though the trend is slowing. In the EU5 (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), Android accounted for 76.0% of smartphone sales, up 5.8 percentage points from 70.2% in the three months ending April 2015. In China, Android share accounted for 78.8% of sales.
In the EU5, Android’s year-on-year growth between March 2015 and 2016 was 7.1 percentage points. For the April-to-April time frame, that number dropped to 5.8%, with only a 0.4 percentage point gain for the three months ending March 2016, up from 75.6% to 76%.
In Great Britain, both Android and iOS grew market share in the three months ending April 2016, marking the first growth for iOS since October 2015, rising from 34.7% to 35.1%. Android share in Urban China rose 4.8% year-over-year and 1.1% period-over-period, giving it 78.8% of smartphone sales in the three months ending April 2016.
“Market share increases in other parts of the world have clearly been a result of movement either from the Windows ecosystem or a feature phone,” Guenveur added. “In the US, Android gains are powered by repeat customers. Among those replacing their smartphones, more than nine out of ten (91.4%) of Android buyers owned a previous Android device.”
“In both Europe and the US, the smartphone market is approaching saturation, and future successes for either of the two dominant ecosystems will come chiefly from drawing customers away from the other,” Guenveur continued. “With Windows phones exiting the market, this battle will only intensify. For Android-Google and iOS-Apple this will mean not only looking to new markets where smartphone penetration has not yet peaked, such as India, and Latin America, but also to new services and products.”
Source: Kantar Worldpanel