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Thanks to the growing wave of first-time smartphone buyers, Android is expanding its market share lead over Apple’s iOS.
That conclusion was part of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest smartphone report.
Kantar found that for the three months ending April 2016, Android grabbed 76 percent of smartphone sales in Europe’s five largest markets, up 5.8 percent from the 70.2 percent it had for the same three months a year ago. (Those five markets: Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.)
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Android had 67.6 percent of smartphone sales for the three months ending in April 2016, up from 62.4 percent one year ago. Apple’s iOS saw its market share decline from 33.2 percent to 30.7 percent in the most recent period.
And in China’s largest urban areas, Android phones accounted for 78.8 percent of sales in China for the three months ending April 2016, up from 74 percent one year ago. During the same period, iOS market share slipped from 25.2 percent in 2015 to 20.1 percent.
The findings are just the latest troubling signs for Apple as it adapts to softening demand for its signature iPhone, a product that accounts for the bulk of its growth and profits.
Even more problematic are two trends that Kantar highlighted.
The first is the growing mix of first-time smartphone buyers in regions like China. As they transition from feature phones, they are generally migrating to Android phones.
At the same time, in saturated markets like the U.S., Kantar says Android owners are proving to be quite loyal. Among people buying a replacement Android phone, about 91.4 percent were previous Android owners.
“While growth in other parts of the world has clearly been a result of movement either from the Windows ecosystem or a feature phone, Android gains in the U.S. are powered by repeat customers,” wrote Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar.
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