The latest sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that iOS returned to growth in the US, accounting for 31.8% of smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2016, a 1.3 percentage point increase versus the same period a year ago.
From a brand perspective, Samsung accounted for 35% of smartphone sales, and Apple 31.8%. Following in third was LG at 14%, with Motorola fourth at 5%. Combined sales of the iPhone 6s/6s Plus totalled 15.1%, making this the top selling device in the quarter, while the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge accounted for 14.1% of smartphone sales. The iPhone SE became the third best-selling phone at 5.1%, contributing to the overall growth of iOS during the period.
“For LG, these latest figures represent a steady upward trend over the past two years, doubling in share from the 7% figure in the second quarter of 2014,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “For Motorola, however, this represents a share similar to what we saw before the launch of the original iteration of the Moto X in the 3rd quarter of 2015, and down from 10% from the 1st quarter of 2016.”
LG leverages LG G5 and prepaid market
The LG G5 was released in the US on April 1, 2016, as the first “modular” phone on the market. In its first quarter of sales, the LG G5 was the 10th best-selling smartphone in the US at 2.2% and the best-selling LG smartphone in the market at 15.3%. It supplanted the LG G4, which had been LG’s top-selling phone since the third quarter of 2015.
LG’s growth in the US has not been completely dependent on its latest flagship, but also on other changes seen in the market over the past two years. “Looking beyond the LG G5 and its predecessors, LG’s next best-selling devices are in the mid- and lower-range of the market, including the LG K7, LG Leon, and the LG Sunset/Sunrise,” Guenveur continued. “These models are not typically available through the Big Four carriers but smaller, prepaid carriers like MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and TracFone. In the six months ending June 2016, LG is the top-selling manufacturer on MetroPCS (40%), Boost (31%) and TracFone (34%).”
Moto’s transition-driven lull
Motorola continues to foster a close relationship with Verizon while also making a push to the smaller carriers including Tracfone, Consumer Cellular, and Republic Wireless. 46% of Motorola smartphones purchased in the second quarter of 2016 were connected to Verizon, and 44% to a smaller carrier rather than AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. The Moto G and Moto E are the best-selling Moto phones connected to these smaller carriers, while the Droid Turbo 2 remains the top-selling device connected to Verizon. So, what accounts for Motorola’s lower share this quarter?
“Any manufacturer announcing a new flagship phone will see sales fall in the period proceeding, since consumers want to see if the latest device is a worthy upgrade choice,” Guenveur suggested. “Also, a sales lull was expected during the period of ownership transition from Google to Lenovo. The first real test for the new Moto will be the launch of the Moto Z Droid, announced in June as the first truly “modular” phone and exclusive to Verizon.”
Global Market Data
In Great Britain, the iPhone SE was the top selling device in the quarter at 9.2%, followed by the iPhone 6s at 9.1%. Together they contributed to iOS growth of 3.1 percentage points to 37.2% in the second quarter of 2016. iOS also experienced continued momentum in France, at 20.6% of smartphone sales. In Germany, iOS sales increased for the first time since the third quarter of 2015, up one percentage point to 14.2% of smartphone sales from 13.2% in the June period last year. These three markets combined, plus very slight declines in Italy and Spain, led iOS to grow across the EU5 by 0.7 percentage points. This represents the first period of increase since the three months ending November 2015.
In Urban China, 17.9% of smartphone sales in the period were iOS, a drop of 1.8 percentage points from 19.7% in the second quarter of 2015. iOS share decline has also pushed Apple behind Huawei at 25.7% and Xiaomi at 18.5%. While the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus remain the top selling smartphones in the region, pressure from Huawei’s Mate 8, P9, Xiaomi’s RedMi Note 3 and Mi 5, and Oppo’s R7 has led to increased competition in the market.
For more on US market activity, see Lauren Guenveur’s latest blog post at: http://www.kantarworldpanel.com/global/News/LG-flourishes-while-Moto-struggles
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