US Insights

US smartphone market still a duopoly

Carolina Milanesi

Former Chief of Research and Head of US Business, ComTech

Mobile 07.30.2014 / 09:25

Samsung and Apple

70% of smartphones in use are either Samsung or Apple

Smartphone sales continued to climb in Q2 2014, reaching 76% of all mobile phone sales, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel ComTech market share data. While the number of iPhones in use keeps Apple well ahead of Samsung, 41% to 29%, in the battle of the ecosystem, Q2 sales favored the Korean brand thanks to the launch of new flagship product Galaxy S5. Samsung's market share grew to 38%, up from 34% in Q1 2014, while Apple dropped 5 percentage points to 31%.

Samsung has certainly learned from previous releases that it can take advantage of launching ahead of Apple. This jump on its top competitor maximizes its chance of appealing to those users who are not interested in the ecosystem Apple brings, yet are always looking for the next big thing.

One year ago in Q2 2013, the first quarter of sales for Galaxy S5 predecessor, the S4, Samsung gained 9 percentage points, driving its share to 33%. Apple's share held up better back then, dropping only 2 percentage points to 42%.

What was different? The market was a little more diversified one year ago than it is now. In Q2 2013, Samsung could grow its share through vendors such as HTC and Motorola. Their strategy was clear in their go-to-market approach that saw many promotions across carriers on older Galaxy models.

For the launch of the Galaxy S5, promotions started early, showing a clear intent to target high-end users first-and in doing so, make Apple users more of a target. Early promotions may have also communicated that Samsung was not willing to leave anything to chance as improved software on older models and incremental improvements on new flagship products make the upgrade cycle tougher not just for Samsung, but for any vendor.


Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

For complete June market share data, download the release above. To access an interactive dataviz of the data, click here. Journalists, for inquiries about these data, contact us.

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