Apple & Motorola grew in the US, Samsung kept its crown in Europe last quarter6
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.