iOS Lost Market Share in Numerous Countries From August to October 2017 as People Waited for iPhone X

Apple's piece of the smartphone ecosystem market fell in eight total territories during the August-October 2017 timeframe, according to new data tracked by Kantar Worldpanel. Echoing numerous stories from earlier this fall that reported people were waiting for the iPhone X and not purchasing an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, Kantar's data showed a 7.6 percentage point drop for iOS in the United States when compared to the same year-ago period.


That number was higher in Great Britain where iOS dropped 8.5 percentage points from 2016, and was followed by Japan (down 6.9 percentage points), Germany (down 1.6), France (down 0.6), Italy (down 0.5), and Australia (down 0.2). While iOS dropped 7.6 points in the U.S., Android increased by 8.2 percentage points during this time.

In the same three-month period ending October of last year, 30.1 percent of iOS users in Europe and the U.S. had owned their iPhones for more than two years. iPhone X excitement further affected this statistic as well, increasing to 35.3 percent in 2017 and "signifying considerable pent-up demand" for the iPhone X, according to Kantar.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

“As of October 2017, 35.3% of Apple’s installed base customers across Europe and the USA had owned their iPhones for more than two years – up from 30.1% a year earlier and signifying considerable pent-up demand within Apple’s base. In pure value terms, it is likely the iPhone X average selling price will more than make up for a dip in sales of older iPhone models,” Sunnebo added.

While Apple saw a drop in most countries, iOS share grew slightly in China during this period with a 0.5 percentage point increase, suggesting that the company's ongoing efforts to expand its foothold in the Chinese market are paying off. Apple CEO Tim Cook furthered that sentiment during a keynote speech at China's annual state-run World Internet Conference over the weekend, where he said that Chinese developers have earned more selling apps on Apple's iOS platform than developers from any other country.


Now that the iPhone X has been out for a month, sales figures for the smartphone have been positive and Apple has continuously improved delivery dates for the device over the subsequent weeks. Research shared by IHS Markit earlier in December reported that early adoption rates for the iPhone X -- looking at its first three weeks on the market -- beat the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 Plus during similar timeframes. According to TrendForce, this strong iPhone X demand will help push Apple ahead of Samsung in Q4 2017 to become the world's largest smartphone maker.

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
Market share. A meaningless statistic unless you break it down.

Sales of $50 Android phones shouldn’t be compared to $400-1000 iPhones.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
I personally like and use IOS (iPhone 6S) but I think Apple will continue to see a decline against Android on a worldwide basis because we will continue to see more Android phones released at a better value.

Apple's prices are increasing, look at the $1,000+ iPhone X, while at the same time you can purchase a quality Android smartphone for well under $100, just look at companies like NUU Mobile.

Of course I am not saying a $100 Android phone is even remotely in the same technological and innovative category as the iPhone X, but as consumers around the world are offered decent quality smartphones at low prices, Android pressure will continue to erode IOS overall.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago

It makes me wonder what drives people to buy new phones. I held on to my SE until Apple's new devices hit the market, and then tried them out to decide which one would work best for me. If this article is to be believed, people dumped Apple's eco-system -- even though their iPhones probably worked just fine -- simply because Apple didn't crank out a new device fast enough for them. To me it seems like jumping back and forth between Apple and Android would be more of a headache than it's worth (unless those iPhone users are mostly using Google's services anyway).

I think you may be misunderstanding what the Kantar report is claiming and how market share actually works. It's claiming Apple lost market share because people were waiting for the X, not because people switched to Android. The OS market share is not a 1:1 correlation with the sales of an individual company. It starts with the total number of phones sold. The iPhone could lose market share whether it increased or decreased sales YoY. Here's a very simple example:
2016 - 100 phones sold total. 58 Android. 39 iOS. 3 Windows. 1 Other. Market shares are 58-39-3-1.
2017 - 125 phones sold total. 75 Android. 44 iOS. 4 Windows. 2 Other. Market shares are 60-35.2-3.2-1.6

iPhone sales were up, market share went down. No one has to jump back and forth or even switch at all. So you really can't draw the conclusion you did.
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Funny, almost everyone i encounter has an iPhone, yet I know android sells more devices. Must be a demographic thing...

Or more likely a confirmation bias thing. You own it, so you notice it more. Same thing happens in all of our lives. Most famously quoted is probably "I purchased x car and now I see it everywhere."
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
Who even cares anymore?
Apple is constantly money driven, not customer driven.
I mean damn, the bugs, rushed OS updates, ugly designs and THE BUGS are NOT what Steve would have wanted.
Get back to just being the best and best at what you do and people will stay.
I mean damn, have you even seen the GS8+? Beautiful. Laggy, but beautiful.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
I am on apple's upgrade program (with a 7+) and would have upgraded to the 8+, but waited for the X. Then when I bought the X and didn't like it, the 8+ was almost two months old. I'm gonna stick with my 7+, but will switch to Android next year if the notch (or notch+) is my only option.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

Market share. A meaningless statistic unless you break it down.

Sales of $50 Android phones shouldn’t be compared to $400-1000 iPhones.

Apple led the windowing desktop revolution with the Macintosh, they were the first, but they were expensive and eventually Microsoft eclipsed them. Today, Microsoft windows dominates the worldwide desktop market. The same could end up happening with IOS; Apple pioneered the modern day smartphone with IOS, but Android is gaining ground.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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