After research firm comScore released data last month indicating that Android’s share of the US smartphone OS market dropped 1 percent during the three months ending in April, Kantar Worldpanel has its own research out which says the OS is gaining momentum stateside again.
Keeping in mind that the data can vary from firm to firm, Kantar says that for the three months ending in May, Android saw a 2.8% increase in its OS market share in the United States, to 64.9% of the market. The report does say that the OS at the same time lost 2.9% market share in the five big European markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), however.
Interestingly, Kantar seems to indicate that Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S6 might have something to do with the positive performance here in the United States. “The first full month of sales of the Galaxy S6 allowed Samsung to regain the market lead in the US and grow its share of Android sales from 52% in the three months ending in April to 55% for the three months ending in May,” said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. More importantly, Milanesi goes on to say that the Galaxy S6 was the third best-selling smartphone during the three month period, after the iPhone 6 and the S6’s own predecessor, the S5.
After months and months of continued market share hemorrhaging, Samsung is close to reaching its previous high market share levels, with its US market share now down only 0.5% compared to last year versus 1.6% down during the three month period ending in April. Many have attributed the South Korean’s failings last year with the S5’s lack of differentiation from its predecessor as well as its high amount of out of the box bloatware.
Also interesting: LG is apparently another major player who fueled Android’s positive growth during the three month period. “Sales of Android-based smartphones were fueled not only by Samsung, but also by LG, which was able to nearly double its share of the US smartphone market year-over-year,” Milanesi said. LG has as of late been pushing its newest flagship, the LG G4, very hard, emphasizing the camera’s F1.8 lens and manual capturing mode which produces totally unmodified, RAW images.
The picture elsewhere is much the same, however. In Europe, Kantar found that Apple’s iOS is still dominant, with many Android manufacturers in that market focusing more on getting iPhone users to switch to their devices rather than fighting for those already using Android but on competing companies’ phones. And in China, the race is still on between Huawei, Apple, and Xiaomi, all three of which are within a 0.5% market share of one another.
“While share might be close, each vendor’s customer base is quite different,” said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “Xiaomi and Apple capture the more affluent users, with 39% of Huawei’s sales falling among consumers with a monthly income of less than 2000 RMBs. Geographically, close to 7% of Apple’s sales come from the top four cities in China – Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen – while for Xiaomi, that number is 2%.”