Apple Inc. (AAPL) & Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Latest update on the smartphone market

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Kantar WorldPanel  ComTech has released the latest smartphone sales data for the last quarter, showing that Android OS stays the leading operating system in Europe with a market share of about 74%. It is followed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iOS and Windows, with 15.3% and 8.8% respectively. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows has delivered a surprise, as its share has risen compared to the last quarter by 1.9%. There are signs that Windows OS is slowly gaining traction among customers in Europe.

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Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar has said that Android continues to grow on account of smaller manufacturers like Wiko, Huawei and Alcatel One Touch. However, he says that “Samsung still remains the dominant manufacturer of Android handsets with a 44.1% share across the five largest European markets.” Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s share remains unchanged.

While in Europe smaller manufacturers are grabbing market share from traditional players, the same thing cannot be said about US, given that customers here switch less between the companies and remain loyal to their brand for a longer period of time. In this market, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the absolute king and Samsung is challenging its dominance.

“In the USA, Samsung’s marketing power continues to play a key part in driving sales of the S5. Some 61% of Galaxy S5 buyers recall seeing TV ads relating to the handset while 40% remember seeing online advertisements. Its brand resonance, coupled with Samsung’s strength in stores are coming together to help it challenge Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s dominance,” Sunnebo commented.

In contrast to the US, Chinese consumers are far less loyal to their brands and tend to switch when they upgrade. As a result, the balance of power can change more quickly. Xiaomi is the leader, witnessing a consolidation of its market share to 27% compared to that of Samsung of just 21.1%.

“The current momentum behind Xiaomi off the back of its latest product announcement, the Xiaomi Mi4, shows that the company’s success isn’t expected to slow down any time soon,” said Sunnebo, adding that 8% of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) customers, 12% of Samsung customers and 13% of Nokia customers are seeking to switch to Xiaomi.

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