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Kantar: Apple Loses Q4 Smartphone Share In U.S., Other Markets

London – Apple’s share of fourth-quarter smartphone sales to end users fell in the U.S., Latin America, China, Australia and each of the five largest European countries, while Android sales share in each of those countries gained, a Kantar Worldpanel ComTech survey found.

Sales of Windows OS phones also grew during that time in all regions but Latin America.

 In the U.S., Apple’s sales share fell 5.8 percentage points to 43.9 percent from the year-ago quarter while Android share rose 4.4 percentage points to 50.6 percent and Windows share rose 1.9 percentage points to 4.3 percent. BlackBerry accounted for 0.4 percent of sales, down from 0.9 percent.

 Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s North America iPhone sales fell in the three months ending December.

 In the five largest European countries, Apple share fell 5.2 percentage points to 18.5 percent while Android share rose 5.7 percentage points to 68.6 percent. Windows share rose 4.6 percentage points to 10.3 percent.  In Latin America, Apple share fell only 0.1 percentage point to 4.3 percent while Android share rose 21.9 percentage points to 83.5 percent, and Windows share dropped 1.8 percentage points to 4.9 percent.

 In China, Android share grew 4.9 percentage points to 78.6 percent while Apple share fell 2.2 Android share also grew.

 “It’s no surprise that everyone is concentrating on high-growth China, but currently local brands are proving clear winners,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar’s strategic insight director. “In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsung to become the top-selling smartphone in China — a truly remarkable achievement for a brand which was only started in 2010 and sells its device almost exclusively online. The combination of high-spec devices, low prices and an ability to create unprecedented buzz through online and social platforms has proved an irresistible proposition for the Chinese.”

 After years of accelerated growth, Sunnebo also said, Samsung is “coming under real pressure in most regions.” The company’s European share fell 2.2 percentage points to 40.3 percent, and its China share was flat at 23.7 percent.

Although Windows share is up in Europe, the European smartphone market grew only 3 percent year on year, Kantar noted.