NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 2, 2015) - Apple iPhone replacement business is expected to remain strong, according to a new analysis of smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. This conclusion comes from an analysis of replacement trends that followed the introduction of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as well as the iPhone 5s and 5c.

The latest sales figures for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reveal both to be extremely strong performers in Apple's two most important markets (the U.S. and China). The two iPhone 6 models already make up 24% of all iPhones in use in the two countries. Such strong performance led to some predictions that the strong sales of the 6 and 6 Plus would weaken Apple's replacement business in 2016.

Kantar's comparison shows that, in the US, the iPhone 5s and 5c reached 29% share of the iPhones in use over the period from September 2013 to July 2014. Performance for the 5s and 5c was not as strong in China, reaching a combined 12%, owing to strong market preference for larger-screen devices.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, explained how the replacement habits of U.S.-based iPhone users indicated future demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would likely continue. "Since September 2014, 32% of US iPhone owners replaced their devices," said Milanesi. "Among those users, 47% replaced their phones with an iPhone 6, and 16% with a 6 Plus. In comparing the similar period one year ago, from September 2013 to July 2014, we see that only 22% of iPhone users upgraded their devices. Of those who did, 44% upgraded to the 5s, and 17% to the 5c."

This data suggests Apple has ample opportunity for upgrades in 4Q 15 and 2016. As in the previous year, upgrades will come not only from the new iPhone models, but from the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which are expected to see a drop in price seen in previous years for retiring flagship devices.

"In the US, 32% of iPhone 5s sales were generated after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus," Milanesi added. "And, in the three months ending in July 2015, the iPhone 5s was still the fourth best-selling smartphone in the US."

Milanesi concluded "In assessing Apple's replacement opportunity going forward, it is also interesting to note that 36% of total iPhone 5s sales in urban China were made after September 2014. With 31% of existing US iPhone users and 32% of urban Chinese users acquiring their devices more than 24 months ago, Apple's iPhone replacement opportunity is certainly in no immediate danger."

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's full blog on Apple's replacement opportunity is the US and China is here:'s_Replacement_Opportunity_is_Far_From_Over

In other news, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech also announced that Android OS market share loss continued in the top 5 European markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain).

"Android market share in Europe was negatively impacted by challenging market dynamics in Germany, France, and Great Britain," reported Milanesi "In the U.S., performance was more of a level field between the two leading operating systems, as the iOS market share decline and Android share gain both decelerated."

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About Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Smartphone OS Market Share Data
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's smartphone OS market share data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date sales and market share figures for the major smartphone operating systems. This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel. ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research / mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior -- including phone purchases, bills/airtime, source of purchase, and usage. It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the drivers of share changes, and consumer insight market dynamics. All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales.

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