UK iPhone 5S sales three times that of iPhone 5C - but both fall well short of Android

By Danny Palmer
02 Dec 2013 View Comments

British sales of Apple's iPhone 5S have seen it outsell its sister smartphone, the iPhone 5C, at a ratio of three to one, but Apple's overall share of the market is still smaller than it was this time last year.

That's according to the latest figures by research group Kantar World Panel ComTech. The research is based on figures for the three months to October 2013, and reveals that even though the release of the new iPhones raised Apple's share of the smartphone market, it didn't receive the same boost as it did when the iPhone 5 was released last year.

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Across Europe Google Android remains the most popular mobile operating system with a 71 per cent share while Apple trails far behind with 16 per cent of the market. Microsoft Windows has seen rapid growth in European territories and now holds a 10 per cent share of European smartphone users.

The iPhone 5C represents Apple's first attempt at producing a lower-cost smartphone designed to compete with budget options offered by rivals.

However, Kantar Worldpanel's figures suggest that this hasn't been successful in continental Europe, especially in Italy where iPhones are being outsold by Windows smartphones. If current trends continue, that'll also soon be the case in France and Spain too.

Nonetheless, Apple continues to be successful in the US, with recent figures suggesting a 53 per cent share of the American market, partially thanks to the iPhone 5C, which is more popular with older users and those on a lower income.

"The cheaper 5C appeals to a broader audience than Apple usually attracts. In the US, the biggest demand for these mid-end models is coming from lower income households," said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

"Some 42 per cent of iPhone 5C owners earn less than $49,000 (£30,000) compared with just 21 per cent for iPhone 5S. iPhone 5C customers also tend to be slightly older at an average of 38 years compared to 34 years for the 5S," he continued.

According to Sunnebo, many iPhone 5C owners previously owned budget devices produced by rival smartphone manufacturers.

"The good news for Apple is that this wider appeal is attracting significant switching from competitors. Almost half of iPhone 5C owners switched from competitor brands, particularly Samsung and LG, compared with 80 per cent of 5S owners who upgraded from a previous iPhone model," he said.

Kantar Worldpanel also notes that smartphones now have a 68 per cent penetration rate in the UK, with 86 per cent of mobile phones sold in the last three months coming under the category.

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