Usually, in the months before Apple’s big smartphone announcements, its iPhone sales fall off a cliff as people hold off buying a new handset until a shiny new device (or two) is announced. But new data shows that didn’t happen this time around in Europe.
Despite clear anticipation for the iPhone 6 in the months before its unveil in September, Apple’s share of the smartphone sales in the three months to August remained stable and fell just 0.4 per cent year on year in the five biggest EU countries (Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain), according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest OS market share figures.
In Spain, Apple even saw a slight increase in smartphone sales on 2013. (See the full table below.)
The researchers say the European figures “defy convention” and were in part achieved due to Apple focusing a chunk of its marketing efforts on building the appeal of the iPhone 5C. The cheaper device — Apple’s cheapest new iPhone during the period — attracted less of an early-adopter audience, people who were not as likely to opt for another new flagship phone so soon after buying their last one.
The adverse trend was particularly significant in Great Britain, where the iPhone 5C was the best-selling phone in August. The iPhone 5C clocked up an 8.9% share of all GB smartphone sales in the period, outselling the iPhone 5S (7.6%) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 (6%).
Kantar says loyalty has never been Apple’s problem in Great Britain, but attracting consumers away from Android still remains a challenge. Android yet again dominated European smartphone sales, grabbing almost three-quarters (72.2%) of sales.
Elsewhere in the world, the iPhone 5C didn’t prevent the seasonal drop off in market share. In the USA, share of sales fell 7.4% on 2013, while in Japan they tanked 17.4%. (Apple’s iPhone sales are still up, of course, just not as “up” as everyone else’s.)
Kantar’s ComTech conducts more than 1 million interviews per year in Europe alone to form its quarterly market share figures.