A Match Made in Heaven: Europe and the USA Love Samsung and Android!

A Match Made in Heaven: Europe and the USA Love Samsung and Android!

It's official (again): Samsung and Android dominate smartphone sales. In a report released today, the research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has confirmed the dominance of Samsung and Android in both the USA and the five major European markets.  

Android takes Apple down in recent sales figures / © Applause

Android: 7, Apple: 2 (almost)

In the three months to May 2013 Apple's traditional stronghold. Apple holds 17.8% of the European market and 41.9% in the US.

The figures, available below, show data for smartphone OS sales across the five major European markets: Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain and Italy, as well as for the USA, Australia, the emergent market of Mexico and the world's biggest smartphone market, China. Android is the clear front-runner in all of them.

The developing markets of Mexico and China will also continue to provide valuable future markets for Android smartphones. Considering the focus of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie on providing better services for lower-end devices, and Google X's Project Loon to bring internet to rural and remote areas and other traditional smartphone dead spots, and we have another market winner.

The sales figures are pretty revealing, but of what exactly? / © Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

An Unfair Fight?

While Android outperforms Apple iOS in every market, it must be noted that putting one handset up against the entire range of Android devices is hardly a fair fight. I'm thinking here of the burly brawl scene from The Matrix Reloaded. But in this version of the brawl it seems Apple just can't win for sheer volume of Android numbers.

And as Tech Crunch have wisely observed, ''It’s not clear from Kantar’s figures whether these are all official Android builds, or whether this figure also accounts for forked devices, which will not work with Google’s wider ecosystem of products like its app store, billing services, and advertising.''

A pure comparison of sales data from Apple iOS and 'pure' Android phones would be more realistic, but any of these these figures should always be taken with a pinch of salt as we will always be comparing Apple with oranges (one phone to many). Apple also continues to make much more money than Android in the app store and still has a much stronger loyalty rating than Samsung (79% versus 59% in Great Britain) so it all depends on what figures you believe are the most important.

It's hard to pick a winner without a balanced fight. / © Warner Bros.

Trouble on the Horizon

Despite the glowing figures, the report also mentions a dark cloud on the horizon for Samsung, stating that “The flagship Xperia Z has driven Sony’s growth in Britain by successfully appealing to Samsung customers. Some 38% of Xperia’s users are ex-Samsung owners, the majority of whom have upgraded from the Galaxy S2“.

The Kantar report goes on to state, ''With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince its 8.8 million customers to stick with the brand''.

So while these figures may be exciting news for Samsung owners and Android fans, the naysayers will be quick to break them down to the point where they will mean nothing at all. There is also an obvious disparity between the quality of Apple's flagship phone and the whole gamut of barely-worth-the-title Android smartphones out there (that make up a large part of these figures).

With this in mind it's certainly hard to put much faith in any kind of predictive potential or see these numbers as anything more than a reflection of a pretty flawed comparison. If we ever get oranges and oranges comparisons, or a differently defined brawl, Apple would undoubtedly come out on top in many rounds, so make of these figures what you will.

Do you own a Samsung smartphone? Do you think it's fair to compare Apple and Android in this way?

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  • You guys need to get into our forums! We'd love to hear about your findings and why you prefer Android systems.

  • Android will dominate via Various Companies vs Apple using one Company (themselves) that is sooooo slow to update / come out with new electronic consumer goods (and expensive) ....

    I'm actually eliminating more Windows7 based electronic goods as I embrace more Android electronic goods

  • Ha, nice work Ed! I have to say, my experience playing with my friends' various iPhones over the years have just been kind of uninspiring. I get that it's a very popular phone, but it still kinda feels like child's play compared to my HTC with Android.

  • Ed E. Jul 2, 2013 Link to comment

    I'm writing this because I watched my daughter wanting an buying apple products over the past few years for college everything from laptops to ipods and iphones, and her raving about them......see dad what this can do and look what apple offers....... until I got my second android phone (mind you the first few versions of android weren't the greatest) with ICS 4.0, that's when she started comparing android to apple. Long story short she now has everything Android, and says it's way easier and says she wasted all the time and money with apple and won't be looking back...
    My own android experience since buy my first android phone there's nothing better..........by the way the whole family has convered to Android.

    From a dad who has two android phones, tablets...

  • Hi Kris,

    oh man, I feel really bad now, sorry again. It's my fault for assuming things. Although I am an iPhone owner, I really dislike those Apple "fanboys" or whatever. Being enlightened by Android experience, I learned to appreciate its many benefits over iOS, you may even say I completely went over to the other side :D as my iPhone is collecting dust somewhere for quite some time now. Change of perspective actually made me realize how many iPhone users can be so blind and ignorant and completely clingy to their devices and not ready to even try something new. There are those kind of people on both sides and that irritates me very much and it happens I sometimes overreact. Will do my best not to act like that anymore. Cheers.

  • Hey Bojan, thanks for your comment. I support everyone's opinion and am always happy to hear both sides of the story, but just to clarify, I'm no Apple's anything. I've actually never even owned an iPhone, just trying to point out a few obvious points about the comparison that are frequently raised when these kinds of stats come out. In future please refrain from rough language, but keep your comments coming.

  • Yes, it is fair, as it is a comparison between Android and iOS, a software comparison, number of devices is irrelevant. Yes, you can say, as you did, that Android has much more devices using it, but ultimately it's Apple's fault for not having more devices available. It's a moot point actually. Android and iOS are very different (so, they're basically incomparable), but serve the same purpose (so, the end result is the same, and they're, from this point of view, quite comparable). Nevertheless, it's just statistics for a market research and if I'm to make an investment, I would go like this: Android has a much bigger market share in total right now and has much more devices available at various prices, some quite affordable for general masses, so, unlike iOS, Android is available at any price point for anyone and that (let alone other things) can and will make it a dominant platform in near future at least, but probably for much longer. And, let's be real, Android is in almost every possible way (except the speed, I would say, but it's getting there) already a better platform and will improve at a much faster rate than iOS.
    Now, just to be clear, I have owned and still do both Android and iOS devices, but since I discovered Android, I prefer it, and you're Apple's b*tch. There, I had to say it, despite being quite obvious. Whining about iOS losing battle, that's not the proper way to make an article. Try not to be biased.

    Sorry for being harsh in the end, but a tone of your article irritated me a bit.

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