LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jan 27, 2016) - The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the December 2015 quarter shows Android's steady share growth continuing in the U.S. and EU5 where Android reached 59 and 71 percent respectively.

Europe's big five markets ("EU5") include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

"Now more than ever it is interesting to highlight the difference in performance of iOS versus Apple. As a vendor, Apple was able to return to the top of the leader boards in the U.S. and China, while iOS has struggled to return to the market share it saw in 2014 across a number of markets, especially in the U.S.," reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Apple loyalty in the U.S. is at its highest since 2012, reinforcing the fact that customer retention is not an issue. However, customer acquisition from Android has gone from 13% in 4Q14 to 11% in 4Q15, and the contribution that first-time smartphone buyers make to Apple overall sales numbers went from 20% to 13% over that same period."

"In urban China, Apple regained its title of most-sold smartphone brand with a share of 27% and had the top three models in that market," commented Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. "Huawei remained the top seller within the Android ecosystem as it captured 36% of sales. Xiaomi is now a distant second in the ranking at 11 percentage points below Huawei."

"The U.S. market continues to be very competitive as smartphone penetration reached 65% among mobile phone users and 84% of overall mobile phone sales," noted Milanesi. "The pool of available new buyers is shrinking and Android's wider price range helps them grab late adopters looking for their first smartphone. During the quarter, 31% of Android buyers upgraded from a feature phone, only slightly lower than the 34% recorded in the same period of 2014. This trend is impacting vendors within the Android ecosystem as brands with more price competitive offerings, such as Huawei, LG, ZTE and Alcatel, are growing in market share at the expense of brands such as Samsung and HTC."

"In Europe's big five markets, iOS share grew considerably quarter-over-quarter, but sales were not enough to show year-over-year growth," said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. "Once again, Android share was boosted by a strong performance in the more price-conscious markets of Spain and Italy. Android also recorded year-over-year growth in Great Britain for the first time in the course of 2015 as Samsung, LG and Huawei all grew share."

"As consumers' excitement about smartphones continues to wane and as mature markets approach saturation, vendors are seeking other ways to drive growth and margins," Milanesi said. "Yet, smartphones are not going anywhere anytime soon, and will play an important part in what is to come, from VR to wearables to the connected home. Vendors who want to remain in this business must continue to evolve and offer more compelling services and features that drive engagement or face the risk of becoming irrelevant in the wider ecosystem smartphones are enabling."

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  Smartphone OS Sales Share (%)      
  Germany   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change     USA   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change
   Android   70.9   72.6   1.7      Android   47.6   59.1   11.5
   iOS   20.9   20.2   -0.7      iOS   47.7   39.1   -8.6
   Windows   7.4   6.4   -1.0      Windows   3.8   1.6   -2.2
   Other   0.8   0.8   0.0      Other   0.9   0.2   -0.7
  GB   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change     China   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change
   Android   50.1   51.9   1.8      Android   77.0   71.4   -5.6
   iOS   41.7   38.6   -3.1      iOS   21.5   27.1   5.6
   Windows   7.4   9.2   1.8      Windows   0.7   1.2   0.5
   Other   0.8   0.3   -0.5      Other   0.8   0.3   -0.5
  France   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change     Australia   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change
   Android   64.8   69.9   5.1      Android   43.7   53.5   9.8
   iOS   22.9   20.5   -2.4      iOS   45.1   39.6   -5.5
   Windows   11.6   8.7   -2.9      Windows   9.2   6.3   -2.9
   Other   0.7   0.9   0.2      Other   2.0   0.6   -1.4
  Italy   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change     Japan   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change
   Android   67.3   76.9   9.6      Android   38.3   44.4   6.1
   iOS   18.3   14.5   -3.8      iOS   60.2   54.1   -6.1
   Windows   12.7   8.1   -4.6      Windows   0.0   0.0   0.0
   Other   1.7   0.5   -1.2      Other   1.5   1.5   0.0
  Spain   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change     EU5   3 m/e Dec 14   3 m/e Dec 15   % pt. Change
   Android   83   86.3   3.3      Android   65.6   71.0   5.4
   iOS   12.9   12.2   -0.7      iOS   24.5   21.2   -3.3
   Windows   3.8   1.5   -2.3      Windows   9.0   7.2   -1.8
   Other   0.3   0.0   -0.3      Other   0.9   0.6   -0.3

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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 behaviour -- 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.

About Kantar Worldpanel
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 recognised by brand owners, retailers, market analysts, and government organisations globally. With over 60 years' experience, a team of 3,500, and services covering 60 countries directly or through partners, Kantar Worldpanel helps brands grow in fields as diverse as FMCG, impulse products, fashion, baby, telecommunications and entertainment, and many others.

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About Kantar
Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP, and one of the world's largest insight, information, and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Kantar's 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to deliver business insights from every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune 500 companies.

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