Kantar: Android sales share soars in key markets; iOS dips, as Windows phone sales fall

Independent market analysis firm Kantar Worldpanel has published its latest monthly data for several key smartphone markets around the world, including the US, China, and the EU5 - the top five European Union markets of Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

This month, there's good news for iOS, and great news for Android, but - unsurprisingly - it's another tale of woe for Microsoft's Windows phone efforts.

Android accounted for 76.5% of all smartphones sold across the EU5 in the three months ending May 2016 - that's a sizeable increase of 6.0 percentage points (pp) compared with the same period last year. Android's success story extends to China too, where it made up almost four-fifths of smartphone sales; and to the US, where 68.5% of sales were of Android devices.

Kantar also noted that Apple's iPhone SE made into the list of the top 10 smartphones sold in Britain, France, China and the US for the first time. In some markets, iOS saw a small decline; in others, a modest increase - but overall, Apple's share of smartphone sales across many key markets has held reasonably steady year-over-year (YoY).

The same cannot be said for Windows smartphones; Microsoft's mobile OS suffered declines both YoY and compared with last month in almost every key market, including some in which Windows Phone had previously achieved double-digit sales market share.

Let's take a quick look at a selection of those key markets in a bit more detail.

In the United States, Android sales market share rose by 3.6pp YoY, while iOS dropped by 1.6pp to 29.3%. Meanwhile Windows phone sales fell by 1.9pp over the same period to just 1.6% - but that's actually a small increase compared with last month (up 0.3pp from 1.3%).

Over in Great Britain, Android enjoyed a remarkable YoY increase of 6.1pp, rising to 58.6% of smartphone sales. iOS dropped slightly by 0.8pp, but the biggest loss was for Windows phones, with sales almost halving YoY to just 5.1% of the market, and also declining by 0.7pp compared with last month.

In France, the YoY loss was even greater for Windows phones, falling by 7.0pp to just 4.1% - although it actually increased its sales share month-over-month, rising by 0.5pp compared with April.

But the big YoY gains in France were for Android, rising by 4.9pp to 74.8% of smartphone sales; and for iOS, which increased by 3.8pp to 21.0%.

In Germany, iOS sales dipped by 0.7pp YoY, while Android gained 3.0pp, rising to 77.7%. Again, Windows phone sales dropped noticeably over the same period, falling by 2.9pp to 5.6%. Microsoft's mobile OS peaked in Germany in June 2015 with 10.5% of smartphone sales, but as in the UK, its sales have halved there in the space of around a year.

Android's success in Spain, meanwhile, has been nothing short of staggering. Last May, just under 90% of smartphone sales ran Google's OS, but this has since climbed even further, rising by 2.9pp to an astonishing 92.8% of the market.

iOS fell by 0.6pp YoY to 6.9%, but once again, the biggest loser in the Spanish market was Windows, dropping by 2.2pp, virtually wiping out its remaining share, which now stands at just 0.2%.

And there was further bad news for Microsoft's mobile operating system in Italy, the last of the EU5. Italy is notable for being the country in which Windows Phone achieved its highest ever market share; in December 2013, it peaked there at 17.1%. But by May 2015, it had fallen to 13.9%, and it has since fallen by a further 7.9pp to just 6.0%.

iOS also suffered a YoY sales slide of 1.1pp to 12.7%, but the big winner in Italy was Android, which saw a incredible increase of 10.2pp YoY, and now accounts for 80.9% of Italian smartphone sales.

And finally, Android also stretched its lead in China, rising by 2.9pp to 79.3% of the smartphone market. Apple suffered a notable YoY loss of 2.4pp, with iOS dropping below 20% of the Chinese market for the first time since September, having briefly peaked at 27.1% share in December.

You can check out the smartphone sales market share over time for these markets, and others, with the interactive Kantar Worldpanel ComTech visualization tool, and you can find commentary from some of their analysts on the latest stats here.

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