As expected, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has seen some positive impact from the launches of the iPhone 5S and 5C. However, data from October shows that while Apple did gain sales market share from the previous month, the company still lost share of smartphone sales year over year.
Apple’s new iPhones not as positive as the iPhone 5
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech released its smartphone sales for the three months ending in October. The research firm says the two new iPhones did help boost Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s market share between September and October. The positive impact the company has received so far during this iPhone cycle hasn’t been as positive as the impact it received last year from the iPhone 5 launch, but it is still very early in the cycle.
Kantar strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement that across the majority of markets, the iPhone 5S and 5C gave Apple “a significant bounce compared to the previous month.” However, at this point Apple’s sales market share is still lower than it was when the iPhone 5 was launched, meaning that on a year over year basis looking at three-month periods, the company is still shedding market share.
Apple sees benefits in certain markets
In most markets, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw low-single digit percentage point declines in sales market share between the three months of August, September, and October 2012 and the same three months of this year. However, there were significant gains recorded in certain global markets. Japan was especially good for Apple this year as the company released the iPhone on NTT DoCoMo, the nation’s largest carrier, for the first time. Kantar reports that the company’s sales share soared to 76.1% in Japan just during the month of October.
In the U.S., Apple saw its market share go to 52.8% in just the month of October. In the U.K., Apple’s sales share rose to 28.7% for the last three months. According to Kantar, the iPhone 5S outsold the 5C by three to one in the U.K. In the U.S., some have estimated that the iPhone 5S was outselling the 5C by between two and three to one.
Who is buying Apple’s iPhone 5C?
Kantar also examined the details of those who tend to favor Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5C over 5S. Sunnebo said U.S. consumers who chose the iPhone 5C rather than the 5S tend to make less money than those who selected the more expensive mode. He reported that about 42% of iPhone 5C owners have income lower than $49,000. That’s compared to 21% for the iPhone 5S. In addition, those who bought the 5C tended to be a little bit older, averaging 38 years old rather than the 34-year-old average age of the 5S.
Apple also appears to be getting some benefit from offering new iPhones at two different price points. He said that the wider appeal for its handsets is starting to pull consumers away from competitors. Approximately 50% of those who bought the iPhone 5C switched from a competing brand, mostly from Samsung or LG. That’s compared with 80% of iPhone 5S buyers who were upgrading from one of the previous iPhone models.
Windows Phone still making progress
Meanwhile Android continued to show positive gains in virtually every market measured by Kantar. Also the dark horse Windows Phone is also showing positive year over year gains in smartphone sales share in most markets. In most of the markets checked, Windows Phone made a low-single digit positive percentage point gain. In the U.K., however, it increased by more than 7 percentage points. And in the European Union’s five largest economies, Windows Phone enjoyed a more than 10% share. In the U.S., it reached close to 5%.