Huawei cracks the British smartphone market

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The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveals a mixed performance for Android in the three months ending June 2018. Share across the big five European markets fell by 0.3 percentage points though Android remains dominant, holding 79.3% of the market. Worldwide, Android grew in Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and China, with the improved performance of Huawei a major factor in this success.

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech comments, “Huawei has been making rapid progress in Europe over the past three years, but performance in Great Britain has been lacklustre. To counter this the manufacturer has taken a dual-pronged approach, attacking the low end of the market with its budget P Smart model and the top end with the well-reviewed P20 Pro. The P20 flagship series has made a big impact in Britain, helping to lift Huawei’s share from only 2.7% a year ago to 13.7% in the past three months, and a successful partnership with Argos has helped both sides become major players in the lucrative British smartphone market.”

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Apple’s iOS performed best in the USA, where a stellar three months helped shift market share up 5.9 percentage points to 38.7%. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus lead Apple’s sales, together accounting for nearly one in five smartphones sold, while iPhone X was the fourth best-selling device during the period. Samsung and LG have both felt the heat from Apple’s performance, seeing share fall over the year.

Dominic Sunnebo continues, “Apple continues to wield huge power in the US market, with iPhone models making up eight out of the ten best-selling models in the past three months. Apple currently enjoys unprecedented depth across the smartphone price spectrum, ranging from the iPhone SE to the $1,000 iPhone X; resulting in continued growth and hitting Samsung and LG hard. While Samsung is well represented at the premium end of the market with its S9 and Note series, and its budget orientated J series helps to compete against LG, lack of depth in the mid-high tier is allowing Apple to find a new avenue for growth.”

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In China, Android claimed 80.4% share in the three months to June 2018 – up by 2.0 percentage points. However, iPhone X continues to be the top-selling device, making up 5.3% of all handsets sold – it has now been the best-selling model in China every month since its release in November 2017. The major brands in China are continuing to squeeze out challengers, with Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, and BBK Group (Oppo/Vivo) accounting for 87% of sales in the past three months, up from
80% a year ago.

Dominic Sunnebo comments, “As smartphone penetration exceeds 90% in urban China and sales markedly slow, there are no easy wins left in the world’s largest smartphone market. The power and marketing budgets of the big four players in China are leaving less room for challengers to be heard – if they want to make an impact it’s imperative they focus on targeting specific consumer segments, as a scattergun approach will not cut through.”

 

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