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iPhone Market Share Dips Slightly as Android Increases Lead in Global Smartphone Race

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel has released a new report (via The Next Web) highlighting global smartphone sales over the October-December period, finding that while Apple's market share dip slightly in key markets, Google's Android devices increased their lead over other platforms during the end of 2013, registering year-over-year growth in various major markets.

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Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan. Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9% in USA, 29.9% in Great Britain and 19.0% in China.
Apple's total market share in the U.S. hit 43.9% in December, and was overall lower in most countries compared to the same timeframe last year. However, Sunnebo stated himself in Kantar's prior report highlighting global smartphone sales over the August-October period that customers generally react more positively to "full" releases than incremental improvements such as the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, which is the likely reason for the drop in market share.

Apple also continues to have strong presence in Japan, as the iPhone has held a steady market share in the months after the debut of the iPhone on the country's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo:
In Japan, consumers’ desire for all things Apple continued into the final quarter of 2013, with iOS taking 68.7% share of smartphone sales. Apple’s deal to sell iPhones through Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMO, has proved an unarguable success with Apple’s share on the carrier reaching 58.1% in the fourth quarter compared with 91.7% on Softbank and 63.7% on AU KDDI.
Despite its strong market share in various countries, the iPhone continues to face challenges in mainland Europe and China, where Android's market share is around 70% or higher in many countries. Microsoft's Windows Phone also continues to show growth in many markets, as the platform's market share has even overtaken that of iOS in Italy.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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12 weeks ago
Marketshare shows little value these days, both platforms exist and will exist for many many many years to come.

Things we can guarantee on in the next 5 years at least:

* One will *always* carry a premium price
* One will *always* attempt to steal as much of your information as possible
* One will always be a more profitable ( margin wise ) to their owners
* Both will always exist
Rating: 13 Positives
12 weeks ago

Any source for this or it is just made up?


Have you ever tried to use an Android device these day's without Google's Apps -- it's pretty much a brick otherwise.

Maybe 'steal' is the wrong word maybe not..

http://business.time.com/2013/03/13/did-google-get-off-easy-with-7-million-wi-spy-settlement/
http://www.3news.co.nz/Google-in-breach-of-privacy-laws-says-Dutch-watchdog/tabid/412/articleID/323360/Default.aspx
http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/12/20/spain-fines-google-over-privacy-breaches/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10459347/Google-pays-17-million-compensation-over-privacy-breach.html

The list goes on and on -- they have been caught many times trying to get around and get information they shouldn't be. Unless you run a rooted Android phone without any of Google's apps some of you're information will eventually get gathered and analysed, their entire business relies on nothing less than connecting the dots between your connected history to serve more targeted ads.
Rating: 13 Positives
12 weeks ago
Look, I am a much of an Apple loyalist as they come, but hard to see the correlation between "Holds Strong" and losses in every country.

What I would like to know, what is going on with Windows phone in Europe? Nice job MS!
Rating: 12 Positives
12 weeks ago
That headline is a bit too optimistic for my taste.
Rating: 12 Positives
12 weeks ago
It seems that Windows Phone is starting to be a real contender
Rating: 11 Positives
12 weeks ago

But by the same token Apple has to do a better job at designing/selling their products. The numbers are not lying, other competitors are nipping at their feet.


I'd be tempted to disagree. Comparing iOS and Android is like comparing OS X and Windows. Windows is an operating system that will be installed on thousands of manufacturers' computers. Same with Android. It'll always have the advantage of market share.

There's no profit in marketshare.

It's only time to worry when a certain Android phone is outselling the iPhone. But as the iPhone increases its sales every quarter, and outsells the best selling Android phone by 5 to 1, there's still no reason to worry. People still want iPhones, and as the sales keep increasing it's difficult to spin this as being bad for Apple.
Rating: 10 Positives
12 weeks ago

It seems that Windows Phone is starting to be a real contender


Microsoft had the patience and money to ride the storm out and really work in growing the platform. That patience is paying dividends.
Rating: 9 Positives
12 weeks ago

But by the same token Apple has to do a better job at designing/selling their products. The numbers are not lying, other competitors are nipping at their feet.


This is why Marketshare alone is misleading. If you strictly look at the percents it looks like they are bleeding customers but rather the bottom end of the market is growing at a much higher pace than the top end that has been around for longer.

As the market grows from the bottom Apple's share numbers will slide massively, 2014 will likely be the complete death of non-smartphones, you can hardly find them anywhere anyways as they are getting replaced with "Androids" all of which are labeled as "Smartphones" but many of which cannot even install the Google Play store due to cheap hardware.

I'm not saying that they are not Androids, it's just not representative to what people read out of these statistics.

Apple has absolutely zero desire to go into the low end marketshare, their 30 year history clearly demonstrates they have no desire to ever compete on razor thin margins.

To any business success lies in profit not market share. As long as they maintain high profitability nobody should be worried about their future.
Rating: 9 Positives
12 weeks ago

This is why Marketshare alone is misleading. If you strictly look at the percents it looks like they are bleeding customers but rather the bottom end of the market is growing at a much higher pace than the top end that has been around for longer.

As the market grows from the bottom Apple's share numbers will slide massively, 2014 will likely be the complete death of non-smartphones, you can hardly find them anywhere anyways as they are getting replaced with "Androids" all of which are labeled as "Smartphones" but many of which cannot even install the Google Play store due to cheap hardware.

I'm not saying that they are not Androids, it's just not representative to what people read out of these statistics.

Apple has absolutely zero desire to go into the low end marketshare, their 30 year history clearly demonstrates they have no desire to ever compete on razor thin margins.

To any business success lies in profit not market share. As long as they maintain high profitability nobody should be worried about their future.

When was Apple ever a leader in the mobile phone market? So people that were using dumb phones or feature phones are now buying low-end smart phones. Until someone can show how selling cheap hardware is a profitable business you won't see Apple there. What company besides Samsung is making decent money in the smartphone business? Certainly not Nokia or Motorola. This quarter LG reported a loss in their smartphone division. HTC is struggling. Moody's just downgraded Sony's credit rating to junk. I'll worry about Apple if they decide to start competing in a race to the bottom. Because that's one they can never win.
Rating: 7 Positives
12 weeks ago

Wow, Android has 83,5% in most of Latin America. That's surprising.



I third this.


It's not surprising that iOS has horrible numbers in less wealthy countries. I'd bet to say if you solely compared to "flagship" Android devices it wouldn't look so bad.
Rating: 7 Positives

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