Apple's iOS makes big strides in U.S., Kantar reports

iPhone 7 (Apple)
Apple's iPhone 7

Apple’s iOS claimed 40.5% of the U.S. smartphone market for the three months ending in October, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, marking the platform’s biggest gains in its home market in more than two years.

The operating system’s market was up from 33.5% a year ago and was the highest share since Apple owned 42.8% of the U.S. smartphone market during the three months ending January 2015. Android claimed 57.9% of the market as its share slid year over year for the fifth consecutive time, Kantar said.

“The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for U.S. iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6 percent of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full three-month period. (The) iPhone 7 Plus was the fourth best-selling device at 5.3 percent, behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7,” Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar, said in a prepared announcement. “Google achieved .5 percent of smartphone sales, a strong showing given that the Pixel was only widely available from October 20. In that short time, Google has reached market parity with more established brands like Huawei and Microsoft, who are also at .5 percent.”

Indeed, iOS saw year-over-year growth in every market Kantar measured other than Germany and urban China. It claimed 51.7% of the smartphone market in Japan and 44% in Great Britain.

The iPhone 7 was the second best-selling phone in urban China during the period, however, Kantar reported, capturing 3.8% of all smartphone sales. The iPhone 7 Plus claimed 1.9% of smartphone sales in urban China, as iOS’s share of the market grew to 17.1%, outpacing Xiaomi’s 15.9%.

Those figures demonstrate significant progress for Apple, which has struggled to compete in China this year as several homegrown handset vendors have emerged as major players. IDC said recently that Apple’s share of the massive Chinese smartphone market slid by more than a third in the latest quarter as Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi all outperformed their U.S. counterpart.