The iPhone Remains the Top Pick in U.S. and Japan, Android Growth Slowing

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Kantar Worldpanel released its Q4 2012 data today while Android devices (essentially Samsung) are most popular around the world, iPhones are the choice for consumers in the U.S. and Japan. In fact in Japan iPhone outpaces Android by almost 35 points. The Kantar Worldpanel results and TechCrunch’s analysis also brings up a warning sign, this time for Samsung—can Android smartphone growth be sustained or has the world hit smartphone saturation?

In the U.S. iPhones claim the top spot in Q4 2012 market share data with 51.2% (an increase of 6.3% over the previous year). Android still in second place with 44.2, but down 0.6% versus last year. In Japan iOS is the pick of 66.2% of consumers (Android 31.9%), there is no comparison for 2011 because Kantar Worldpanel only started tracking Japan in the middle of 2012.

The chart below gives all the details on the Kantar results:

Kantar chart

An additional point, however, that was shared with TechCrunch is much, much more interesting—smartphones are nearly the majority of devices in many locations.

According to TC and Kantar, the UK the highest smartphone percentages—61%—meaning most mobile phone owners own a smartphone. So in the UK, fewer people will be smartphone newcomers, everyone else will be in a cycle of replacing a smartphone in the future. Here’s how the rest of the world pans out:

  • Australia 54%
  • France 46%.
  • Italy 45%
  • Spain 45%
  • U.S. 42%
  • China 39%
  • Germany 38%
  • Japan 24%

I’d wager that by this time next year we’ll see France, Italy, and Spain all in smartphone majority territory and the US might hit that point in late 2014, 2015 almost certainly. Not only will this drive changes in buying behavior (and therefore profits at Samsung and Apple), but also how much data mobile devices consume, and (maybe more importantly) a demand for being able to nearly everything from a mobile device (that you can do now on your computer).

And if iOS continues to dominate in the U.S. (and Japanese) markets, then we’ll also see a strong trend toward that “mobile friendly” push really mean “iPhone friendly” and that will be a most interesting time for sure.

Via: TechCrunch

Photo from West Midlands Police via Flickr (see yours in the pile?).

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