The iPhone 5 Barely Moved The Platform Dial In Many Markets

Android still dominates international smartphone sales.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Google’s mobile operating system accounted for 64 per cent of smartphone sales in the five largest European markets — Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. That’s up 13 percentage points from a year prior. Apple’s iOS gained less than 1 percentage point, despite the release of the much-hyped iPhone 5 in September. 

In Germany, the iOS share actually shrank by five percentage points relative to the same period in 2011, and now accounts for 17 per cent of smartphone sales. 

Kantar looks at the platform share of smartphone sales on a rolling twelve week basis. The October 2012 numbers, for example, reflect the twelve weeks ending October 28.

The iPhone 5 has not been released in China yet and has been approved, but apparently not released, in Brazil. It was available in every other country looked at by Kantar by the end of September. 

As usual, local market conditions predominate.

In Spain, where leading carriers have eliminated subsidies, iOS is barely a blip on the radar and Android accounted for more than 80 per cent of smartphone sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, a new, unsubsidized iPhone in Spain costs three times as much as its subsidized forerunner.

Leading Apple analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will release a $200 iPhone in order to stanch the loss of market share to lower-priced Android devices. 

In Brazil, a potentially huge market with limited smartphone penetration, iOS accounted for less than 1 per cent of smartphone sales, while Android ramped up to 57 per cent, up from 26 per cent last year. Nokia’s antiquated Symbian platform still accounted for 32 per cent of sales, down from 51 per cent last year, but this is an anomaly that should fade over the next year or so.

Apple was strongest in the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia, all Anglophone countries (the Apple platform is app-oriented and many apps are English-first). 

Kantar also took a look at China for the first time — the ill-defined urban areas at least. Android accounted for a little under 70 per cent of sales there. iOS came in at a respectable 20 per cent of sales. However, other estimates have Android’s China market share as high as 90 per cent

Below are the charts for the eight countries analysed by Kantar, with their smartphone market share by platform for October 2011 and October 2012:

kantar australia
kantar brazil
kantar china
kantar france
kantar germany
kantar gb
kantar italy
kantar spain
kantar u.s.

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