Late-Arriving iPhone X Costs Apple Market Share

Print Email

The decision by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to delay shipments of its flagship iPhone X until November cost the company share in many of its key markets. Share declined by 7.6% in the United States for the three-month period ending in October and by 8.5% in Great Britain.

The data were reported Tuesday by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, based on research by the firm’s global consumer panel.

Market share declined by 6.9% in Japan, 1.6% in Germany, 0.6% in France and 0.5% in Italy. Share rose 0.5% in China and 4.4% in Spain.

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Android operating system gained 4.3 percentage points in the big five European markets, 8.2% in the United States and 7.5% in Japan. Kantar attributed that partly to a continued decline in share for Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Phone operating system.

Kantar global business unit director Dominic Sunnebo said:

It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016. This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.

According to Kantar, as of October 35.3% of Apple’s installed base in Europe and the United States had owned their iPhones for more than two years. That is up from 30.1% in the same period last year. Sunnebo continued:

[The increase in the percentage of older iPhones signifies] considerable pent-up demand within Apple’s base. In pure value terms, it is likely the iPhone X average selling price will more than make up for a dip in sales of older iPhone models.

Apple is among the top five smartphone brands in China that accounted for 91% of sales during the three months ended in October. Samsung’s sales in China have fallen to just 2.2% of the market.