LONDON: Smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel shows a complicated landscape for Apple, as its iOS system ceded market share in traditional strongholds of the US and Europe while making gains in East Asia and the UK.

In spite of the dual release of the iPhone 8 and X handsets, iOS – Apple’s proprietary operating system – share fell 0.6 percentage points to 23.9% across the big five European markets in the three months ending November 2017. In the US, iOS now accounts for 39.8% of smartphone use: a drop of 3.8 percentage points.

However, market share in China has overtaken Europe, as Apple now enjoys close to 25% market share in the 1.4 billion-strong country – a 4.6 percentage point increase.

Figures have also been particularly strong in Great Britain, where Apple achieved its highest share in almost three years, reaching 49.4% market share and regaining the top spot from Samsung.

“iPhone X was the best-selling model in Great Britain in November, with a 14.4% share of sales,” explained Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, but he warned that the phone’s £999 price-tag could diminish the device’s sales momentum in the coming months.

Conversely, the US audience chose the X’s less expensive cousins, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in stronger numbers. However, Apple’s three 2017 releases occupied the top three best-seller spots in November.

East Asia was particularly fruitful for Apple’s new flagship device. In Japan, the iPhone X reached an 18.2% market share, with the 8 following closely on 17.2%. In urban China also, the near-bezelless phone’s impact has been “staggering” said Sunnebo.

“Apple is now back on form – the iPhone X was the top selling model in urban China in November, with a market share of 6.0%.

“Unlike in Europe and the US, where the vast majority of early iPhone X sales came from existing Apple smartphone owners, in urban China there are significant numbers of Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung customers switching to the new iPhone models, which they deem a cut above the rest.”

Sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by WARC staff