Apple’s iPhone sales might be down, and there’s a lot riding with the iPhone 7 for Cupertino, but it appears the picture is not as bleak for the company. Apple’s iOS saw growth in US and Europe’s five big markets, with sales rising in the second quarter of 2016, according to data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Kantar’s data says Apple iOS sales accounted for 31.8 per cent in US, and 18.2 per cent sale in Europe’s big main markets which includes, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Interestingly the data shows iPhone SE, the 4-inch screen phone launched in March, became the third best-selling phone at 5.1 per cent in the US, which also added to iOS’s growth.
The data adds iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6S totaled 15 per cent sales for the second quarter in the US making them the top selling devices for the quarter, while the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge accounted for 14.1 per cent of sales. “In the US, iOS grew 1.3 percentage points year-over-year, accounting for 31.8% of smartphone sales in the second calendar quarter of 2016. Android accounted for 65.5% of smartphone sales, a small decline from the 66.1% of the same period a year ago,” reported Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Interestingly in Great Britain, iPhone SE was the top-selling device in the quarter at 9.2 per cent, followed by iPhone 6s at 9.1 per cent. Both added 3.1 percentage points for iOS’s growth of 37.2 per cent in the quarter.
“iOS also experienced continued momentum in France, at 20.2% of smartphone sales. In Germany, iOS sales increased for the first time since the third quarter of 2015, up one percentage point to 14.2% of smartphone sales from 13.2% in the June period last year. These three markets combined, plus very slight declines in Italy and Spain, led iOS to grow across the EU5 by 0.7 percentage points. This represents the first period of increase since the three months ending November 2015,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe.
Kantar’s numbers show iOS is increasing base in the developed markets, and iPhone SE appears to be an important device boosting this growth. However developing market like China are still seeing an year-on-year decline, shows Kantar’s data.
“17.9% of smartphone sales in the period were iOS, a drop of 1.8 percentage points from 19.7 in the second quarter of 2015. What’s more, iOS share decline has also pushed Apple behind Huawei at 25.7% and Xiaomi at 18.5%,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. But iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are the top selling smartphones in the region, though they face intense competition from Chinese players like Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo. Also iPhone SE was unable to make an impact in the quarter due to constrained supply, says the research firm.
Kantar says iOS growth will be interesting in Q3, especially if supply constraints are reduced further. The firm notes, iPhone 7’s upcoming launch in September means it will be a “weaker summer period for iOS.” But data also shows 49 per cent of US iPhone owners and 51 per cent of Chinese iPhones owners are on an iPhone 5s or older, meaning the opportunity to upgrade exists, says the research firm.
For Apple, upgrade cycles are what boosts its numbers in the October-December quarter, although with iPhone 6s series it has not been so high. Apple CEO Tim Cook also admitted the iPhone 6S upgrade cycle was not as great as the iPhone 6 had been, which explains the slowdown to some extent. Apple has not given numbers of the iPhone SE sale for last quarter, but based on Kantar’s numbers it appears the phone has helped stem a drop in sales in Europe and US.