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Kantar: US Consumers Prefer Apple; Samsung Leads in EU

March 1, 2016 - Written By Mihai Matei

Market research company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech recently published a new paper discussing the smartphone market growth, the current market coverage of smartphones in the mobile world, and the most preferred smartphone brands in the US, EU5, and urban China. According to Kantar’s research, Apple remains the most sought-after brand in the US, followed by Samsung. In EU5, however, the roles are reversed and Samsung seems to be the preferred brand, followed by the Cupertino-based giant.

Kantar Worldpanel reveals that mobile penetration in the United States and EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK) has reached 91%. In the US, 65% of consumers own a smartphone, while in EU5 the number has reached 74%. In addition, 72% of consumers in urban China are smartphone users. With these solid figures in mind, Kantar believes that the smartphone market will no longer see “double-digit growth” as it did over the past 10 years, adding that in 2016, smartphone sales will be dictated by two main factors, namely the OEMs’ abilities to convince feature phone users that they should switch to a smartphone, and by persuading consumers who already own a smartphone that they should aim for the next best device. However, the majority of feature phone users find it difficult to switch to smartphones because, in their vision, such devices don’t offer good value for money. As such, until feature phone users will no longer be able to rely on their devices, chances are that most of them will not willingly switch to a smartphone.

Whatever the case may be, research shows that 40% of US-based consumer who might plan to change their phone in 2016 prefer Apple’s products, whereas 35% would rather go the Samsung way. The third most sought-after brand in the States is Motorola, although with only 6%. In EU5, however, 37% of consumers seem to prefer Samsung products, whereas Apple stirs the interest of 29% of prospective smartphone buyers. As for China where Android OS seems to be struggling to gain market share over iOS, Apple holds the crown as the most popular brand, followed by Huawei in 2nd place, and Samsung in 3rd.

Although the market seems to have reached a point of saturation, Kantar’s Chief of Research & Head of US Business, Carolina Milanesi, believes that there are still plenty of monetization opportunities in the mobile world “for those with the vision to find and seize them”.