NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2015) - The latest sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the three months ending in October 2015 shows Apple holding a 33.6% share of the U.S. smartphone market, down year-over-year, but up quarter-over-quarter. During the same period, Samsung retained its leading position in the U.S. smartphone market and, for the first time in 2015, that company was able to show year-on-year growth in the U.S.

"When comparing the newest Apple models, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are performing reasonably well as a percentage of iOS sales," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Specifically, the iPhone 6s represented 24.4% of iPhone sales in the three months ending in October 2015, compared to 33% for the iPhone 6 in 2014, and 22% for the iPhone 5s in 2013."

Historically, when the relative successes of new iPhone models are evaluated, sales of models that do not have a full hardware redesign tend to ramp up more gradually. Between September and December 2013, sales of the iPhone 5s as a percentage of all iPhone sales went from 13% in September to 37% in October, 47% in November, and 45% in December. The iPhone 6 over the same three months in 2014 went from 32% to 48%, to 39%, and to 55%. The iPhone 6s represented 25% of iPhone sales in September 2015, and 37% in October 2015, pointing to a ramp-up similar to that of the 5s in 2013.

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In Europe's big five markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) during the three months ending in October 2015, iOS registered a marginal decline in market share for the first time since August 2014. "This was primarily driven by a deceleration of growth in Great Britain and Germany," Milanesi explained. "Sales of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus already represented close to a third of iOS sales in Europe's big five markets."

Android returned to growth in Europe's big five markets after a decline that began in October 2014. This was possible due to a strong performance in Italy, Spain, and France. Android showed year-over-year growth, but that OS success did not produce a clear vendor win, as different names showed strength in different countries: Huawei in Italy and Spain, and Samsung in France.

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Kantar Worldpanel is the world leader in consumer knowledge and insights, based on continuous consumer panels. Its High Definition Inspiration™ approach combines market monitoring, advanced analytics, and tailored market research solutions that inspire successful actions by its clients. Kantar Worldpanel's expertise about what people buy or use -- and why -- is recognized by brand owners, retailers, market analysts, and government organisations globally.

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