When Apple released the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus without the 3.5mm headphone jack, many users were fuming. The devices are now almost three months old, and a new report from Kantar Worldpanel says that the lack of headphone jack was a “non-issue for US iPhone consumers.” The iPhone 7 was the best-selling device in Apple’s native market during the August-October quarter.
iOS grew 7 percentage points YoY
The latest OS data from Kantar Worldpanel reveals that the share of iOS in the US market jumped to 40.5% in the quarter ending October, compared to 33.5% in the same period a year ago. It’s largely due to the strong sales of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The analytics firm said it was the strongest growth rate for iOS in more than two years, and its share is highest since the ending of January 2015 (42.8%).
Though Android remains the most popular operating system in the US with 57.9% market share, its share has been declining for five straight quarters. The iOS saw annual gains in most regions except for Germany and Urban China. The iOS commands highest market share in Japan at 51.7%, followed by 44% in Britain, and 40.5% in the United States. Kantar said Apple remained the “most desirable smartphone brand in the world.”
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iPhone 7 achieved 10.6% sales
It doesn’t mean those criticizing the lack of headphone jack were all wrong. Apple’s AirPods are so expensive that you could buy a decent Android phone for the same money. Bluetooth headphones also tend to cost more. But users seem to be loyal enough to the iPhone brand to rely on an adapter or buy another expensive accessory.
Though the iPhone 7 was not available for the full August-October quarter, it achieved 10.6% of smartphone sales in the US. The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus was the fourth most popular device with 5.3%, behind the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7, said Lauren Guenveur, Kantar’s Consumer Insight Director.
Galaxy Note 7 disaster boosted iPhone 7 sales
The iPhone 7 sales were also helped by the botched Galaxy Note 7 launch and subsequent discontinuation. In markets where Samsung doesn’t have a strong presence, the iPhone sales actually declined. For instance, Apple’s share in Urban China fell to 17.1% from 22.5% in the same period a year ago. Chinese Android vendors Oppo, OnePlus, Huawei, and Xiaomi continue to eat into the market shares of Apple and Samsung. Germany was another such market, where the iPhone’s share declined by 2.7 percentage points to 16.5%.
Kantar found that Google’s Pixel grabbed 0.5% of the US market during the quarter, despite releasing only at the tail end of October. The search engine giant reached market parity with Microsoft and Huawei, which both have about 0.5% market share.