Strong iPhone 7 sales drive iOS adoption

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iPhone 6 Refurb
The iPhone 7 helped raise iOS's profile in Q3.
Photo: Apple

iOS grew 5.2 percent in U.S. marketshare in the third quarter of 2016, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

“In the U.S., the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models made an immediate impact, becoming the best-selling smartphones in the month of September at 17.1%,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Strong sales of the iPhone 7 and the lower-priced iPhone 6s, the second best-selling device in the US in September, contributed to an overall growth of iOS to 34.2% in the third quarter of 2016.”

Android fell 3.3 percent during the same period in the U.S., with a decline from 66.7 percent to 63.4 percent.

Things weren’t quite so rosy for Apple everywhere, however. In Germany, iOS market share fell from 17.5 percent to 15 percent, while in Urban China — one of Apple’s supposed big growth areas — it fell from 18.7 percent to 14.2 percent.

However, there were some interesting tidbits in the report — such as the fact that the smaller-size iPhone SE continues to do surprisingly well in the U.K., with 8.5 percent of smartphone sales in the quarter, compared with just 3.5 percent in the U.S. Make of that what you will.

Of course, despite things being overall positive for Apple I should point out the same thing I do whenever the news is the opposite: namely that Apple has never been a company which chases market share as its overriding metric.

Even smartphone sales from an individual company are flawed, but iOS vs. Android comparisons are almost meaningless for anything beyond bragging rights.

With that said, it’s another reminder that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is far from the disappointment people were expecting in some corners: in terms of critical and commercial response.