iPhone marketshare surges for Apple in Europe, China during March quarter

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Adoption of the iPhone was up globally during the March quarter, and in Europe was particularly influenced by people switching from Android devices, according to new smartphone market data published on Wednesday by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The research firm noted that while Android remained in control of the five major European markets — Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain — with a 68.4 percent share, that was a decline of 3.1 percentage points year-over-year. Apple rose 1.8 points to a 20.3 percent share, and the Kantar data indicates that 32.4 percent of new iPhone buyers were switching from Android.

Of the people who bought an Android phone in the quarter, 35 percent said it was because they got a good price on the device, while 29 percent said it was because they got a bargain on tariffs or contracts.

China was another strong market for Apple, seeing iPhone share rise from 17.9 percent to 26.1 percent, even if it was still dwarfed by Android's 72 percent. Kantar remarked that China is now generating more iPhone volume than the U.S., partly because the product is beginning to sell to more than just the country's rich. In the March quarter, Apple accounted for 25 percent of smartphone sales among people making 2,000 to 4,000 yuan ($322 to $645) per month.

Although the iPhone is an extremely expensive product in China, often costing more than a worker's monthly salary, many people in the country will use a smartphone as their primary computing device.

In the U.S. Apple achieved a 36.5 percent share, while Android advanced 0.2 points to 58.1 percent. Kantar tangentially commented that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus now account for 18 percent of all iPhones in the country, and that 64 percent of the install base is using at least an iPhone 5. The latter figure is particularly important for the Apple Watch, since the wearable won't work with any iPhone prior to the iPhone 5.


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