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iPhone SE turns the table for Apple, iOS returns to growth in the US and Europe

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The iPhone SE that came out in March for just under $400 has brought back Apple’s smartphone sales to the positive — yes, surprisingly. According to a report by Kantar, Apple’s out of the blue, 4-inch device has fulfilled all of Apple’s expectations. Moreover, the device has bumped the sales of iOS-based smartphones in the US and Europe by a significant amount.

We are currently into Q3 which is normally a cold time for Apple sales. Every year, users strangle their temptations to buy a new iPhone in hopes that the iPhone that will be revealed in Q3 will be something that might just be perfect. This year, however, was a different story entirely. Although Apple’s overall iPhone sales for the quarter dropped 15 percent year-on-year to 40.4 million units, the iPhone SE actually slowed down this fall.

Sales of the iOS devices in the last quarter accounted for 31.8 percent and 18.2 percent in the US and Europe respectively. This is actually 1,3 percent higher in the US and 3.1 percent higher in Europe, as compared to last year’s figures. In fact, the numbers have grown to this level just because of the iPhone SE that single-handedly owns 5.1 percent of smartphone sales in the US and 9.2 percent in Europe.

Other markets, however, have a different story to tell. Local vendors-dominated China is still vary of the iPhone, with the SE taking up 2.5 percent of sales.

“In contrast to the growth in the US and EU5, iOS continued to post year-over-year declines in Urban China. 17.9% of smartphone sales in the period were iOS, a drop of 1.8 percentage points from 19.7 in the second quarter of 2015. What’s more, iOS share decline has also pushed Apple behind Huawei at 25.7% and Xiaomi at 18.5%,”

said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia.

“While the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus remain the top selling smartphones in the region, pressure from Huawei’s Mate 8, P9, Xiaomi’s RedMi Note 3 and Mi 5, and Oppo’s R9 has led to increased competition in the market. With the continued supply constraints of the iPhone SE, that model was not able to make the expected impact, accounting for 2.5% of smartphone sales in the second quarter.”

The Indian market also saw a lukewarm response to the iPhone SE. While most people loved the features of the smartphone, it’s still premium price point of almost Rs. 40K was something some took as a disappointment. Still, we don’t quite know how the device performed in the market here, as Kantar doesn’t track the Indian market.


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