Apple’s iPhone 4S scores in U.S., Britain, but not the rest of Europe

Dec 23, 2011
Finance

The release of the iPhone 4S has sparked some pretty big growth for Apple in the smartphone market. In the U.S., the device has sold quite a few million units since its October launch, and in Britain Apple is seeing similar gains. Yet despite high popularity of the iPhone 4S isn’t being mirrored in every […]

The release of the iPhone 4S has sparked some pretty big growth for Apple in the smartphone market. In the U.S., the device has sold quite a few million units since its October launch, and in Britain Apple is seeing similar gains.

Yet despite high popularity of the iPhone 4S isn’t being mirrored in every market. According to a story from GigaOM, in the rest of Europe, the iPhone 4S hasn’t been the runaway success that it has in places like the U.S. In the rest of Europe, Apple’s share of the smartphone market continues to decline as Google’s Android platform keeps growing.

In markets such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy, Apple’s share of the smartphone market isn’t increasing the way it is in the U.S. or emerging markets such as China. In fact, it has been declining for some time and is continuing to do so as 2011 comes to a close. Android devices are gaining a lot more traction there, and the issue for Apple (and boon for Google) could be something as simple as price.

Dominic Sunnebo, director of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Consumer Insights, speculates that the economic troubles of the Euro zone might be hurting Apple’s market share in those countries. Lots of people in Euro-using countries may well be a little worried about spending a lot of money on smartphones when their economic futures aren’t too certain. Apple tends to provide premium devices at premium prices; meanwhile, Google devices cover a range of prices that many iPhones just can’t reach.

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Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market has risen to 36 percent in the third quarter of 2011, from 25 percent during the same period last year. There was a similar hike in Apple’s share of the British market, as well – rising to 31 percent in the third quarter of 2011 from 21 percent during the same period of 2010. Meanwhile, in France, Apple is losing ground. Its smartphone market share has fallen from 29 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to 20 percent this year; in Germany, Apple’s share fell from 27 percent in 2010 to 22 percent this year.

The iPhone 3GS holds a place on the low end of the price spectrum for Apple, but its losses in several countries suggest that two low-priced offerings – the 3GS and the iPhone 4 – aren’t enough to fight off the multiple low-priced entries Android offers. Europe is a fast-growing smartphone market, so you can bet that Apple will be working to make sure its devices perform well there. But as it stands, Apple needs to find a new way to beat out Android in a number of European countries.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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