According to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (covering January – March 2014), Apple is performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in Europe, Japan and Australia.
Across Europe, Android remains the top OS with 70.7% share, while Apple holds second position at 19.2%. Windows, at third, accounts for 8.1% of smartphone sales.
“Apple regained ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5S, growing its sales share in Europe, Japan and Australia,” says Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “By contrast, Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones.”
Apple has been particularly successful in Japan where, in the past quarter, it has secured 42% of smartphone sales on NTT DoCoMo, 59% on KDDI AU and 81% on Softbank. The design of the iPhone (30%) remains the key draw for Japanese consumers, followed by its 4G capability (29%) and the belief that it will be reliable (24%).
“Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network,” Sunnebo continues. “The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple.”