Analytics firm Kantar has just weighed in on the fourth quarter of the 2022 smartphone market and called iOS the “global standout performer” during the fourth quarter. That’s because the iPhone showed market share growth in almost all markets covered by Kantar. That includes the U.S. and the European 5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Great Britain). In both of those regions, year-over-year growth was two percentage points.
In Italy and Spain, year-over-year growth in the final three months of the year was 5 percentage points and 4 percentage points respectively. In Australia and Japan, iPhone market share rose 1 percentage point on an annual basis. The iPhone’s market share was flat in Mainland China.
The Google Pixel series had a record fourth quarter according to Kantar
Kantar pointed out that Apple’s plan to differentiate between its Pro and non-Pro models by giving the former features like the latest A16 Bionic chipset and the Dynamic Island worked like a charm. Apple gave consumers strong incentives to pay the premium prices for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The research firm said, “In an industry where consumers are hungry for innovation, the Pro’s success evidences that they are willing to pay for it.”
The iPhone dominated in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2022
Recently we told you that Google CEO Sundar Pichai, talking about the current Pixel lineup consisting of the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and the Pixel 6a, said that they were the “best-selling generation of phones” ever released by the company. The success of the Pixel 7 series was noted by Kantor as the line scored record sales during the fourth quarter in the U.S., European 5, Australia, and Japan.
Pixel sales from October through December were the strongest in the U.K. as they comprised 18% of total sales of Android phones in the country. The mid-range Pixel 6a is also doing well according to Kantar. In the states, the Pixel line was responsible for 11.9% of Android sales in Q4, up from the 7.5% share of Android phones that Pixels were responsible for during the same quarter last year. The Pixel 6a had the fourth-highest market share in Japan during the quarter.
The market share of Pixel handsets rose year-over-year in these four markets
Speaking of Android, Kantar says that the operating system remains the platform of choice for mobile users around the world. Still, Android lost 2 percentage points of market share in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2022 on a year-over-year basis and in the European 5 (where it still boasts a 70% slice of the smartphone pie). In Australia and Japan, Android lost 1 percentage point of market share on an annual basis during Q4. The operating system picked up 1 percentage point in mainland China as Kantar detected “customer migration away from Huawei’s Harmony OS.”
How phone buyers are coping with the weak global economy
Turning to the world of Samsung, Kantar noted that the manufacturer’s Galaxy A13 continues to be a hit in Europe and was the region’s top-selling phone during Q4. That was followed by the iPhone 13 and the Samsung A53 5G. Kantar also says that last week’s introduction of the Galaxy S23 series reaffirms Sammy’s spot as the top Android manufacturer. In an attempt to boost the weak profit margins it reported for the fourth quarter, Kantar expects Samsung to focus on its premium devices including foldables.
In the U.S., the iPhone 14 Pro Max topped the charts for the October-December period with the iPhone 14 trailing. The iPhone 14 Pro was third. In a Beatles-like domination of the U.S. charts (phones though, not records), the iPhone 11 was fourth followed by the iPhone 13.
With weakness in the world economy, Kantar says that consumers are turning to promotions, trade-ins, and other deals. It also says that a popular choice among phone buyers is to finance the purchase of their devices. The country that does this the most when it comes to smartphones is the U.S. where the most popular financing option is the 48-month PayPal’s Pay in 4. This plan divides your balance into four equal parts. The first payment is made at once with the remaining three payments made every two weeks.