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Kantar: iPhone XR is best-selling smartphone in the UK in Q1, Samsung is no.1 in Europe

Jasper Hart
April 17, 2019

Older iPhone users driving sales of more affordable 12th-gen device

The iPhone XR was the best-selling smartphone in the UK in the first quarter of 2019, according to new figures released by Kantar Worldpanel.

The insight company’s figures also revealed that in continental Europe the XR outsold the iPhone XS and XS Max combined, and that sales of the iOS 12th-generation device were mainly driven by consumers replacing their older iPhones: 16 per cent of XS and XS Max buyers upgraded from an iPhone X, while less than one per cent of iPhone XR buyers upgraded from the same phone.

Kantar Worldpanel global director Dominic Sunnebo said: “As smartphone prices rise rapidly, iPhone XR provides Apple with a way to keep its customers with older models continuing to upgrade regularly, and less tempted by the competition.”

Across the five major European markets (The UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) Android devices accounted for 79.3 per cent of all sales in the first three months of the year, thanks to holds from Samsung and gains from Huawei and Xiaomi, while iOS share fell by two percentage points in Europe to 20.1 per cent.

“Samsung’s share of the big five European markets held firm in the latest quarter, aided by something of a renaissance in Italy and Spain,” added Sunnebo.

“The launch of its flagship Galaxy S10 series also helped the manufacturer to consolidate its number one position in Europe, and it should expect sales to continue well into the next quarter.”

By contrast, sales of the Samsung S10e accounted for just 8 per cent of the S10 range’s sales in Europe in the first month of its release, with the S10 taking 49.4 per cent and the S10+ taking 42.8 per cent.

Sunnebo said: “The fact that the more expensive models in the range are so far dominating is positive for the manufacturer, but it should expect the S10e to quickly gain share as sales move away from early adopters towards more typical members of the public.”

In the US, Apple increased its year-on-year market share by 6.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent, while in China, Apple’s share fell by 0.4 per cent, a drop which Kantar considered “robust” considering the competition from Huawei and Xiaomi. The top selling device in China was Apple’s 2018 flagship, the iPhone X.

Kantar was unable to provide precise figures.

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