Apple iPhone was launched in Europe on Nov 9, 2007. The locked sim model which was then popular with Apple caused controversies and legal issues in several European countries including Germany, France, and Italy. However, it didn’t tarnish the image of the brand among customers who were lined up a day in advance to lay their hands on the much-awaited product. Orange (the launch partner in France) expected to sell 100,000 phones by the end of 2007. Apple had plans of selling 10 million phones by the end of 2008 owing to its expansion in the Asian market. With such humble beginning and strong determination to capture the smartphone markets across the world, Apple has sold 61.17 million phones in Q2 2015.
The global trend of Apple smartphone sales indicates a rise in the first fiscal quarter (October – December) and a decrease in subsequent quarters. This has been observed since 1Q 2012. During the current fiscal year of Apple, the global sale has dropped from 74.47 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2015 to 61.17 million in the second fiscal quarter. In spite of this fact, the YOY sales figure has shown a consistent increase. The European market has been very challenging since the beginning. With last minute changes in price and legal issues regarding the partner networks, it has been a chaotic launch in one of the major markets back in 2007. Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have been the top 5 markets in Europe (EU5) which have their own unique behavior as compared to the global market. Android has seen a great rise in sales since its launch in the third quarter of 2008. Owing to the lower price and increased features, it has gone to become the favorite among customers worldwide. A majority of the customers (43%) consider Android phones as a good deal for the money.
The Growth Of Apple in Europe, China, US, Australia
A comparison of the YOY (2Q 2014 and 2Q 2015) sales across the five largest European markets indicates a 2.1% point increase in the sale of Apple phones while that for Android based phones decreased by 2.5% point. The closest contender to Apple was windows phone with a 1% increase in sales. Among the five markets, the Great Britain saw the highest increase of 5.5% point in YOY sale of Apple phones followed by Germany at 2.6%. France and Spain were close together at 2.1% point and 2% point YOY increase respectively. Italy had a meager 0.1% point YOY increase. Looking outside Europe, Australia had the highest growth in sales of Apple phones at 9.1% point YOY increase followed by China at 7.3% point increase. However, the American market saw a dip of 2.3% point in the YOY sales of Apple phones. This was seen as a revival of Apple smartphones in the European market.
Android Facing Setback In Large Markets
On the other hand, sales figures for Android-powered smartphones suffered major losses in Germany and the Great Britain. A 6.2% and 6.1% decrease in YOY sale was observed in these market respectively. Italy followed the trend with a 3.9% decrease in YOY sale. Among the top European markets only Spain and France had positive YOY sales growth of 3.0% and 1.8% respectively. Outside Europe, Android suffered major setbacks in Australia, China and Japan alike with 10.6%, 5.3% and 5.2% decrease in YOY sales. Android flourished in the American market registering a 3.4% increase in YOY sales.
New Entrants Are Driving Android Growth
The arrival of new brands by big players like Huawei and Xiaomi have taken the market by storm. A series of handsets with specific attractive features both for the adults as well as the younger generation have set up a tough competition. Screen size is acting as one of the major attractions for the younger generation. This is quite readily provided by a multitude of Android based smartphone vendors. While in case of Apple, the customers are more concerned about the durability, reliability and quality of the product as a whole.
The recent trend is indicative of a major shift in the smartphone market towards Apple products. With several new products such as iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus coming on the shelf, the user has all the more reasons to indulge in the iOS extravaganza. As an increasing number of technology companies are entering into the smartphone business, it is going to be a tough game of survival. However, the customers are going to be the greatest beneficiary as all these events will lead to major turnarounds resulting in better products being available at attractive prices.