How iPhone sales stack up all over the world

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Coming off another record quarter, it’s hardly a surprise to find out that iPhone sales are looking pretty healthy globally.

A new report from research firm Kantar Worldpanel shows just how healthy they are, however, by analyzing worldwide smartphone sales over the twelve-week January-March period. The report shows that strong sales of Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s have helped regain market share in places such as Europe, Japan and Australia.

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Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, notes that:

“Apple regained ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5s, growing its sales share in Europe, Japan and Australia. By contrast, Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones.”

Apple’s total market share in Japan, Australia, and Europe has hit 57.6%, 33.1%, and 19.2% respectively — representing increases of 8.6%, 2.0%, and 0.1% compared to the same time last year.

As can be seen from these figures, Japan is a particularly strong market for the iPhone — helped by the device’s debut on the country’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo. Dominic Sunnebo says:

“Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network. The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple.”

In the United States, Apple’s market share currently stands at 35.9% — down 7.8% next to the 43.7% market share the company held held a year ago.

While that might seem bad, though, previous reports show that U.S. customers tend to react better to “full releases” such as the iPhone 5 (which happened in 2013) rather than “incremental” updates likes the iPhone 5s and 5c. Since this year will likely see the arrival of a long-awaited larger-screen iPhone 6, no-one should be surprised to see these numbers bounce back stronger than ever.

Of course, market share is just one way of analyzing the overall success of different smartphone platforms. Although Android is strong around the world (and Windows Phone is increasing its market share, too) the real test comes down to the value of individual customers.

And that’s where Apple has most ever other company beat hands-down.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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