Apple’s global rollout of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones has seen it pick up market share in key countries, with Apple challenging Samsung in its home market of South Korea, according to market research and consulting firm Counterpoint Research.Counterpoint’s Monthly Market Pulse report found global Apple iPhone sales grew at 26 per cent annually, and passed the 20 million unit monthly sales mark for the first time ever, in November last year.
Counterpoint stated this was aided by the rollout of the iPhone 6 models, and also helped by the relatively lower-priced iPhone 5s and 5c models, targeting prepaid users in emerging markets.
Apple’s market share, meanwhile, has reached record levels in Japan, South Korea and China.
Apple captured more than half of the smartphone sales in Japan in October as well as in November, and in South Korea secured a record one-third of the total smartphone sales in November, while in China iPhone sales grew more than 45 per cent annually in November.
“No foreign brand has gone beyond the 20 per cent market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry,” commented Counterpoint research director Tom Kang.
“It has always been dominated by the global smartphone leader, Samsung. But iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have made a difference here, denting the competition’s phablet sales.”
Kang added that Korea is the world’s highest penetrated phablet market, and “earnestly needed a large-screen iPhone for quite a time”, while a better supply of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 64 GB and 128 GB models during the month could have seen Apple’s share climb to the 40 per cent level.
In China, Apple’s smartphone market share has climbed to above 12 per cent, securing Apple third spot behind Lenovo and Xiaomi, with the iPhone 6 the most popular iPhone model during November, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total iPhone sales, Counterpoint research director Neil Shah commented.
“However, with improving supply of iPhone 6 Plus, we believe the iPhone 6 Plus sales will contribute to a greater proportion of the sales mix in December and during the Chinese holiday season in Q1 2015,” Shah stated.
Apple has been able to impact Samsung’s premium Galaxy S5 and Note 4 sales with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Shah added, noting, with the launch of Xiaomi’s Mi Note and Note Pro, it is “going to be a fierce battle in the premium segment, with Samsung being attacked from both ends”.
In the USA, Counterpoint found iPhone demand “remained relatively healthy compared to last year”, while in India, Apple is on track to sell almost a million units for the last three months of 2014.
Counterpoint estimates Apple’s momentum will continue into December, and help it register its best ever iPhone quarter.