Android leads smartphone sales

1 September 2014

GLOBAL: Google's Android operating system accounts for more than four-fifths (84.6%) of the Chinese smartphone market, three-quarters (75.1%) of the European market, and almost two-thirds (62.9%) in the US, new quarterly data has revealed.

According to the latest global smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which covered the three months to July 2014, Xiaomi continued to lead the Chinese market while Samsung was particularly successful in the UK.

Privately-owned Xiaomi, which recently overtook Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor in China, now has nearly one-third (31.6%) of the urban Chinese market – a position which Kantar Worldpanel described as "astounding".

Samsung, meanwhile, has increased its market share in the UK to 36%, compared with 32% the same time last year, and the report attributed its success to the popularity of its new Galaxy S5 handset, which took 11.5% of all handset sales in July.

Commenting on the findings for China, Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: "We have seen huge shifts in power in the Chinese smartphone market over the past year.

"Xiaomi has been the standout performer and Huawei has also seen excellent growth, while Coolpad has increased its share more modestly from 5.2% to 6.1% over the year.

"Considering the success of rapidly growing local brands in the Chinese market, it will be only a question of time before they seek expansion internationally in a similar way to Huawei, and more recently Xiaomi."

Turning to the UK, he noted that over half (52%) of British consumers who bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 had previously owned another model from the company, while 20% were previous Apple owners and 18% used to own a device from HTC.

"Apple is very good at giving existing customers a reason to remain loyal to the brand and to upgrade to new models when released. Samsung is becoming increasingly adept at employing the same tactic," he said.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff