Back in August I found that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web [Aug 5, 2013]. That statement was strengthened even more recently with MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2 [Dec 22, 2013; Jan 27, 2014].
With a trend analysis of the importance of the Asia/Pacific market in general, and the Chinese market in particular one comes to an even more striking conclusion: except Samsung (as it is just nearby) all dominant players in the mobile device market of today, and especially tomorrow, have to operate from China based headquarters. Otherwise they are unable to take the relevant decisions (unlike what was possible for PC era, just from U.S. based headquarters). This is especially applied to the merged Nokia-Microsoft Device Business!
– Analysys International: China Mobile Phone Sales Hit 100 Million in Q3, 2013 [Nov 8, 2013]
– Gartner sources: like the latest Gartner Says Smartphone Sales Accounted for 55 Percent of Overall Mobile Phone Sales in Third Quarter of 2013 [Nov 14, 2013]
– IDC Finds Worldwide Smartphone Shipments on Pace to Grow Nearly 40% in 2013 While Average Selling Prices Decline More Than 12% [Nov 26, 2013]
– For IDC look at Smartphones Expected to Grow 32.7% in 2013 Fueled By Declining Prices and Strong Emerging Market Demand, According to IDC [June 4, 2013] as well (for Worldwide Smartphone Shipments by Market Maturity i.e. emerging and developed). Here is the historical chart embedded there:
Developed Markets include: USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
With the latest news release of Jan 27 (Android ends the year on top but Apple scores in key markets) from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech one can compile an almost 2 years long representation of the smartphone trends in the key markets via a set of following charts:
The latest comments on that (from the news release) by Kantar Worldpanel Comtech:
Android ended 2013 as the top OS across Europe with 68.6% share, while Apple held second place with 18.5%. Windows Phone continues to show high year-on-year growth, but its share of the European market has essentially remained flat at 10.3% for the past three months.
Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan. Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9% in USA, 29.9% in Great Britain and 19.0% in China.
Windows Phone has now held double digit share across Europe for three consecutive months. Unfortunately for Nokia the European smartphone market is only growing at 3% year on year so success in this market has not been enough to turn around its fortunes – reflected in its recent disappointing results. Its performance also deteriorated toward the end of 2013 in the important growth markets of China, USA and Latin America.
It’s no surprise that everyone is concentrating on high growth China, but currently local brands are proving clear winners. In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsung to become the top selling smartphone in China – a truly remarkable achievement for a brand which was only started in 2010 and sells its device almost exclusively online. The combination of high spec devices, low prices and an ability to create unprecedented buzz through online and social platforms has proved an irresistible proposition for the Chinese.
Additional information for the period was provided by earlier Kantar Worldpanel Comtech news releases:
In the 3 months ending November 2013, Android maintained its lead of smartphone sales on the U.S., capturing 50.3% of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 43.1% of smartphone sales, an increase month on month, however, down 9.9% versus the same period a year ago, according to data on the U.S. market released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Windows Phone, the third largest OS in the U.S, sold nearly 5% of smartphones in the 3 months ending November 2013, up 2.1% points from the previous year.
As with the previous period, Verizon maintained its lead as the top smartphone carrier, with just under a third of sales (31.7%). AT&T, in second, had 28.3% of smartphone sales in the 3 months ending November 2013. T-Mobile, overtaking Sprint as the third largest carrier had 13.3% of sales, and was the only major carrier to see growth year on year (up 6.3%).
The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 240,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo states, “The iPhone 5S and 5C were the two bestselling smartphones in the U.S for the 3 months ending November 2013. However, increased rivalry from Android brands and a resurgence of LG and Nokia, has made year-on-year share gains for Apple difficult. This is especially true on T-Mobile.”
On T-Mobile, the ‘UNcarrier’ strategy, launched earlier in 2013, has been successful because it has attracted first-time smartphone buyers, looking to upgrade to their first smartphone. Among T-Mobile smartphone buyers in November 2013, 55% of those that purchased an LG and Nokia smartphone were first-time smartphone buyers, compared to just 39% of Apple customers.
Sunnebo continues, “First-time smartphone buyers remain a key demographic for carriers and brand alike. The lower end iPhone 5C represents an opportunity for Apple to attract these customers. Thus far the majority of 5C customers have come from other smartphone platforms, though if historical trends hold, the lower end model (historically the older iPhone model following the release of a new iPhone), should be able to attract this demographic with its lower price and comparable specs.”
Apple launch momentum continues [Jan 7, 2014]
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to November 2013, shows Apple’s share of smartphone sales continuing to grow month on month following the release of the iPhone 5S and 5C models. However, its share of most major markets remains lower than the same time last year as it increasingly faces challenges from its rivals.
While there’s no doubt that sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C have been strong, resurgent performances from LG, Sony and Nokia have made making year on year share gains increasingly challenging for Apple. Windows Phone, for example, is now the third largest OS across Europe with 10.0% – more than double its share compared with last year.
Apple now accounts for 69.1% of the Japanese market, 43.1% in the United States, 35.0% in Australia and 30.6% in Great Britain.
Strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C can be linked to high levels of customer satisfaction with both models, despite fears that the lower-end 5C could damage Apple’s appeal.
Some people worried that Apple was risking its historically high consumer satisfaction levels by releasing a lower cost, plastic iPhone. However, the latest data for the US shows that the iPhone 5C has an average owner recommendation score of 9.0/10 versus 9.1/10 for the iPhone 5S. Both devices attract different customers but crucially each group of owners remains very happy with their choice and are recommending it to others.
Android gains 3% market share each quarter in China [Nov 28, 2013]
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech is the first continuous panel to gather representative mobile phone data in China. The panel has been created to provide insight including mobile phone ownership, sales, usage, churn, loyalty and pricing in Chinese telecoms market.
The key points of Q3 report:
- Android’s steady growth in China is mainly coming from cheaper local brands, consumers are seeking for the ultimate value for money device.
- There were many speculations about the iPhone 5s and 5c prior their official launch. It actually made negative impact to iPhone Q3 sales, as people were holding out for the new models, and reduced Apple’s sales by almost 50% compared to the previous quarter.
- Almost a quarter of smartphone sales were made via online channels in 2013Q3. Even though online channels usually offer better price, the ability to test the phone is also a key purchase decision factor for Chinese customers, making it important for manufactures and leading retail chains to develop effective O2O strategies
- As most Android devices offer similar user experience, consumers are more focusing on cost effective devices.
¥ 1000 – ¥ 2000: US$ 165 – US$ 331
¥ 2000 – ¥ 3000: US$ 331 – US$ 496
¥ 3000- ¥ 4000: US$ 496 – US$ 661
With Kantar Worldpanel Comtech vendor market shares be very careful as the latest Analysys International: Apple’s Share Declining in China Smartphone Market in Q3, 2013 is providing quite a different picture:
The statistics from EnfoDesk, the Survey of China Mobile Terminals Market in Q3, 2013, newly released by Analysys International, shows that the sales of China mobile phone (excluding parallel imports and the cottage) hit 102.66 million, up 54.5 percent year on year with a sequential growth rate being 13.6 percent by 2013Q3. Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad still ranked top three with market share being 18.1 percent, 11.4 percent and 9.0 percent.
China smartphone sales hit 93.08 million in Q3,2013, rose as high as 89.3 percent with the sequential growth rate being 20.7 percent. Smartphone continued to rise 90.7 percent of the total market share. Compared to 2013Q2, Apple’s share was in the largest decline, down by 1.1 percentage points.
EnfoDesk Analysys International holds that Apple’s declining of mobile phone sales is mainly due to the small influence of iPhone 5S/5C although it was released in mid-September. The sales of iPhone new products are expected to boost Apple’s overall share in Q4. However, this momentum will not last long, and Apple’s share will ultimately continue to decline.
Mobile phone sales refers to the number of mobile phone that sell to the users through various channels. Part of the mobile phone sales data in this report does not include smuggled and parallel goods, see specific data in the report.
Nokia and Windows global momentum continues [Nov 4, 2013]
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to September 2013, shows Windows Phone now makes up one in 10 smartphone sales across the five major European markets*, has overtaken iOS in Italy, and is gaining momentum in emerging markets. Android remains the dominant operating system across Europe with 71.9%, an increase of 4.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year.
Windows Phone, driven almost entirely by Nokia sales, continues to make rapid progress in Europe and has also shown signs of growth in emerging markets such as Latin America.
With the smartphone market in developed countries so congested, it is emerging economies that now present manufacturers with the best opportunity for growth.
Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot. The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step. Price is the main barrier in developing markets and the budget Lumia 520 opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.
Local brands growing in China
China is increasingly dominated by Android which accounts for 81.1% of the market, up 14.6 percentage points from last year. Domestic manufacturers made up 44% of smartphone sales in the latest period, compared to just 30% the previous year. Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Coolpad handsets are particularly popular outside of China’s largest cities and represent a more value-for-money option than global brands.
Chinese consumers are prepared to make a huge investment in their smartphone, with some spending up to 70% of their monthly salary on a new device. With such a high investment, Chinese consumers want to get the best value for money and are increasingly opting for a high-spec local brand over a low-spec global equivalent. The message for global manufacturers is clear – Chinese consumers demand value, and overpriced entry-levels models no longer cut it against increasingly impressive local competition.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: Urban China Smartphone Sales Data to Q313
Windows Phone nears double digit share across Europe [Sept 30, 2013]
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to August 2013, shows Windows Phone has posted its highest ever sales share of 9.2% across the five major European markets* and is now within one percentage point of iOS in Germany. Android remains the top operating system across Europe with a 70.1% market share, but its dominant position is increasingly threatened as growth trails behind both Windows and iOS.
Windows Phone has hit double digit sales share figures in France and Great Britain with 10.8% and 12% respectively – the first time it has recorded double digits in two major markets.
After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find. Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony, Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.
Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low and mid range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone.
A key milestone for Android in China [May 31, 2013]
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the global market leader in longitudinal Telecom research panels, reports at the end of Q1 2013, Urban China Smartphone penetration reached 42%, an increase of 1.2% compared to Q4 2012. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest research in China, most of Smartphone growth comes from new Smartphone adopters, with almost half of Featurephone owners who changed their device in last quarter upgrading to a Smartphone. Craig Yu, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments:”Featurephones are losing their price advantage as Android Smartphones are rapidly becoming more affordable and delivering better value. We expect to see accelerated Smartphone adoption in China in the coming months.”
During the first quarter of 2013, Android continued its steady growth in China, marking a key milestone in reaching 50% share of Smartphone Installed Base. At the end of March 2013, Android widened its lead of Smartphone operating systems with a 51.4% market share, an increase of 2.8% compared to the previous quarter. Second and third place was taken by Symbian and iOS, whose market share is 23% and 19.9% respectively. Symbian has declined 2% in the last quarter, whilst iOS remained resilient. Following the same trend, Symbian looks likely to lose its second place to be the third in the next 2 quarters.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech also tracks the performance of various mobile device brands, according to its latest report, many Chinese local brands have been working closely with carriers and demonstrated strong growth in the Smartphone market for the first three months of 2013. ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi all have experienced share increases.
The combined market share of above four local brands are at 20%, a 17.6% growth in the past 6 months. Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Coolpad & Xiaomi combined make up 1 in 5 of all Smartphones in active use in China-this proportion will continue to grow as Nokia’s existing dominance is challenged.
Yu continues:”Local manufacturer brands have been able to drive strong growth through bundling their handsets with carriers tariff offers, seeking out new sales channels & combining innovative product design with value to capture many first time Smartphone buyers and those residing in City tiers 2/3/4.
However, Samsung remains the fastest growing Smartphone brand in China, ended Q1 2013 with 15.2% share of Installed Base (1.5%pts). Craig Yu continues:”Samsung has recently launched the Galaxy S4, selling over 10 million units globally in less than one month-we predict the launch of Galaxy S4 mini in the not too distant future will greatly increase its product reach in urban China.”
Apple achieves its highest ever Smartphone share in US [Dec 12, 2012]
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Apple has achieved its highest ever share in the US (53.3%) in the latest 12 weeks*, with the iPhone 5 helping to boost sales. In Europe, however, Android retains the highest share with 61% of the market, up from 51.8% a year ago.
* 12 w/e 25th November 2012
Apple has reached a major milestone in the US by passing the 50% share mark for the first time, with further gains expected to be made during December.
Meanwhile in Europe, Samsung continues to hold the number one smartphone manufacturer spot across the big five countries, with 44.3% share in the latest 12 weeks. Apple takes second place with 25.3% share while HTC, Sony and Nokia shares remain close in the chase for third position.
Although Windows sales in the US remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals. The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices.
Nokia continues to find it tough to attract younger consumers in Great Britain. Over the past six months, just 28% of Nokia Lumia 800 sales have come from under 35’s, compared with 42% of all smartphone sales. With the Nokia Lumia 920 being one of the few handsets available on EE 4G, new tariffs may help to change this by attracting early adopters in the coming months.
Smartphone percentage penetration in Great Britain hit 60% in the latest period, with 83% of all mobile phone sales over the past 12 weeks being smartphones.
iPhone 5 release slows Android gains [Oct 30, 2012]
Recent smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Android continuing to gain share across Europe in latest 12 weeks of sales* increasing its share to 67.1% share, up from 50.9% a year ago. However, its rate of growth has slowed as week one of iPhone 5 sales show iOS gaining in the US and Great Britain.
* 12 w/e 30th September 2012
(Apple iPhone 5 released on 21st September in US, GB, Germany & France. Italy & Spain on 28th September. Not yet released in China & Brazil).
Apple has increased its share from 18.1% to 28.0% in the past year across Britain, while in the US its share increased by 14.2 percentage points.
While this latest data set only includes one week of iPhone 5 sales, we can see that in markets with a large number of existing Apple customers, sales have already seen a significant boost. We expect this momentum to be fully realised in the next set of results.
Tomorrow the UK joins the likes of the US, Germany and much of Scandinavia with the rollout of EE’s superfast 4G network.
Chinese consumers are rarely loyal to their brands [June 29, 2013]
Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm, and Kantar Worldpanel, a global leader in consumer panel insights, released the 2012 China FMCG Shopper report in Beijing. In most of 26 of the top consumer goods categories sold in China across packaged foods, beverages, personal care and homecare, covering more than 80 percent of the country’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, shoppers who purchase more frequently in a category tend to buy more brands rather than more of the same brands.
Kantar Worldpanel equips shoppers from 40,000 households throughout urban China with barcode scanners to record their purchases from all channels. The findings dispel several misunderstood notions about how Chinese consumers respond to product brands. Although over 60 percent of Chinese shoppers have said that brands were their top consideration when purchasing (in previous Bain research), in reality, they rarely act on that consideration at the moment of purchase. Instead, they are in a near-constant state of trial, without leading to eventual preference and loyalty.