iPhone sales rise again in October

There we were, thinking the market was saturated. Apparently not, though: iPhones made up nearly 28% of smartphone sales during October.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 19 Jun 2012
Consumer spending squeeze? What consumer spending squeeze? A survey has found that during October, Apple sold more than three times as many iPhones as it did in any of the three months before it. And apparently, in the 12 weeks to the end of October Apple’s share of the smartphone market jumped to 27.8%, from about 25% in the same period in the year before. Impressive stuff, particularly when you take the competition into consideration, which has been hotting up of late. Although how much of that growth is down to excitement over the iPhone 4S and Siri, its wise-cracking new ‘personal assistant’, remains to be seen...

According to the report, snappily titled Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the iPhone made up 42.8% of all smartphone sales in the UK during October, way ahead of Android’s 35%. Meanwhile, in the 12 weeks to October, Blackberry’s share fell by just over 1% to 19.6%, while Nokia’s Symbian OS made up just 3.9% of sales, and Windows Mobile (which even Microsoft has washed its hand of now), fell to just 0.5% of sales. Hopefully the latest collaboration between the latter two companies, the recently-released Lumia, will mean both fare rather better in the next survey...

Back to the iPhone, though: what’s interesting about the figures is that sales slowed down during the run-up to the launch of the 4S, and then jumped after it was launched, which indicates that people were waiting for it before upgrading (even if the 4S was slightly less exciting than the iPhone 5 Apple’s legion of fanboys had anticipated).

Another point worth making is that 75% of all iPhone buyers already owned one, and were either renewing their contracts or, in the case of many of the iPhone 4S sales, were buying themselves out of their old contracts. On one hand, that’s pretty good going, suggesting strong brand loyalty. On the other, though, it means new smartphone customers are going for the cheaper option of Android or one of its rivals. And with the figures showing that there are 29m adults in the UK still sans smartphone, that means there’s still plenty of room for Apple’s rivals to grow their brands.

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