Apple & Motorola grew in the US, Samsung kept its crown in Europe last quarter

Apple & Motorola grew in the US, Samsung kept its crown in Europe last quarter

Apple has seen a pretty big dip in iPhone sales since the launch of its latest range last fall. Similarly, Samsung has faced increasing competition from the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi. But the latest report from Kantar contains good news for both brands.

Samsung and the Galaxy S10 series


According to Kantar’s smartphone OS data, Android devices accounted for a very respectable 79.3% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets – UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy – during the first three months of 2019. 

The strong performance for the open source platform was primarily down to big gains for Xiaomi and Huawei. However, number one manufacturer Samsung also played a vital role and ultimately managed to maintain its market share when compared to the previous year. This came as a result of increased demand in Italy and Spain for its smartphones, and a strong debut for its Galaxy S10 lineup.

Speaking of the Galaxy S10 series, Kantar’s report suggests that during its first month of release the premium models were the most popular among European consumers. In fact, the regular Galaxy S10+ is said to have accounted for a whopping 49.4% of sales while the larger Galaxy S10+ accounted for an equally impressive 42.8%. 


The smaller Galaxy S10e, on the other hand, didn’t perform quite as well – it held a share of just 8% – but is expected to play an important role in the long-term. A big share of Samsung’s initial Galaxy S10 sales are understood to have come from early adopters who often want the latest and greatest. But as regular consumers start accounting for a larger portion of sales, the cheaper Galaxy S10e’s sales share should grow.

This shift in buyers should also help maintain Samsung’s sales throughout the second quarter in the lead up to the Galaxy Note 10 release during the summer months.

Apple and the iPhone XR


As expected, Apple’s iOS held a distant second place with a market share of 20.1% in Europe. This represents a decrease of around 2% compared to the first quarter of 2018 and falls in line with the company’s slowing sales. Nevertheless, the iPhone XR did prove to be a strong performer for the Cupertino giant across the continent.

According to Kantar, in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy the iPhone XR outsold both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max combined. In addition to this, the smartphone was the best-selling device in the UK throughout the entire first quarter of 2019.


The majority of these iPhone XR sales came from people who owned older models such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7. Upgraders from the much newer iPhone X, on the other hand, represented just 1% of sales. In contrast to this, around 16% of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max buyers upgraded from the iPhone X.

Over in the US, Apple continued to perform extremely well despite the sales drop on a global scale. Throughout the first three months of 2019, the brand boosted its market share to a considerable 45.5% which is up 6.5% versus the year prior. Once again, the iPhone XR played an important role accounting for 1 in every 10 smartphones sold.

Motorola is growing and LG is shrinking in the US


Kantar didn’t share any information about the performance of other brands across Europe, but it did shed some light on the situation in the US.

After years of struggles, Motorola finally appears to have found its place in the US smartphone market. In fact, it hit a three-year high market share of 6.6% last quarter and also reduced its reliance on Verizon for sales drastically. 

As recently as two years ago, Kantar reports that Verizon accounted for almost half of Motorola’s smartphone sales, but by the end of this past quarter the figure was down to just 19%. Moving forward, it’s expected to continue dropping as Motorola’s partnerships with retailers and other service providers such as MetroPCS and Cricket become more important.

With the likes of Samsung and Apple concentrating heavily on the premium smartphone market, Motorola is said to be concentrating currently on increasing its sales in the mid-range and low-end segments, which is where the brand has experienced strong success recently. However, with the foldable Motorola Razr and its quadruple-camera smartphone reportedly on the way, the company could soon make a return to the premium segment. 

LG, on the other hand, has been experiencing declining sales in almost every segment. Despite a number of releases in the budget, mid-range, and flagship segments, the South Korean giant’s market share fell to a three-year low of 9.6% during the first quarter. Nevertheless, this could experience a slight boost soon thanks to the release of the LG G8 ThinQ and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.

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6 Comments

1. ijuanp03

Posts: 615; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

I'm happy with what Motorola is offering. I currently own the Moto G7 (white) and it's pretty much what i expect from a Motorola midrange phone. It's snappy, no lags, decent camera and great build quality. I'm sad for LG though.

2. OneLove123

Posts: 1189; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Loving my LG G8. You can’t beat it for $310.

3. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

With Moto doing well in US it would be a good time to bring over the Lenovo Z series to the US.

4. domfonusr

Posts: 1087; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

My Android experience is now split half and half between LG and Motorola, as I've alternated between them and had two Android smartphones from each brand. I'm glad to hear that Motorola is doing well in the US, and even with the recent decline, LG is still a contender not to be ruled out just yet. I have noticed that my LG's tended to have mild battery capacity issues, as well as mild overheating issues. My LG Viper 4G LTE would noticeably heat up when charging, and also heated up when doing screen-intensive things during the day, when the brightness had to be up for long periods of time while working on things or browsing the internet. My LG Viper got one OS update that I am aware of, from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0. My LG Fortune never saw an update or even a security patch in all the time I owned it, and while the battery life was multi-day at first, after the first six months the capacity suddenly declined in the course of about a week until it could only last a day without a charge. It would also experience mild overheating when on LTE signal for long stretches of web browsing. Overall, neither of these sets of issues was an utter deal-breaker for me, and both phones gave decent service for a decent amount of time considering the low price-point. My Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen. was a great phone, but eventually the 8GB of onboard storage became too small. Still got almost two years out of it for the money I spent (less expensive, in fact, than the LG Fortune I replaced it with), and it got an update from Android 5.0 to Android 5.1 and saw a number of security patches in its first year or so. For the same amount of money as I spent on the first Moto E, I was able to recently replace my LG Fortune with a Motorola Moto E5 Cruise, and so far it has been relatively trouble-free. We will see how long it takes for the apps I use to outgrow the 16GB of internal storage, but at 2GB, the RAM is plenty sufficient for my needs and usage. I doubt that it will see an update to the OS, though, and I don't think it has seen a security patch since I've had it, either. I think I've had better overall experiences with my Moto's than my LG's, but they've all been decent overall. My only concern is that there will be a lot less competition in the low-end to entry-level space in the coming years, as long as the major market trends hold. I'm thinking of adding a Nokia into the mix when I go for my next Android phone, hopefully still a couple of years away. I'm curious to see how HMD Global does in the US over the next few years, and how they compare and compete with the likes of Motorola and LG.

6. domfonusr

Posts: 1087; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Interesting... speaking of software updates, just got my first update to the Moto E5 Cruise - updated from April 2018 security patch to October 2018 security patch. I guess every little bit helps, but I'm still six months behind; can't expect too much when your phone retails for $100!

5. KDawg

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 17, 2019

I switched to Motorola this year after using an iphone for the past 5 years. My only regret is that I did not switch sooner. Features on Android blow away iOS. For the same price as a new iphone I bought the Moto Z3 and a handful of the mods that go with it and love everything about this phone. Battery outperforms my iphone and it never gets hot.

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