Delayed iPhone X launch hurt market share, Kantar report

Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) takes a picture with David Casarez (R) who just purchased the new iPhone X at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) takes a picture with David Casarez (R) who just purchased the new iPhone X at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.

Apple’s delayed launch of the iPhone X hurt the iPhone market share around the world, research firm Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday.

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Apple launched the iPhone X in the beginning of November, instead of in September when it launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

It’s this window that Kantar believes may have hurt Apple’s market share. Data from Kantar shows that Apple’s share fell by 7.6 percentage points in the U.S. during the October quarter, compared to the same period last year. Likewise, it slipped 8.5 percentage points in Great Britain, 1.6 percentage points in Germany, 6.9 percentage points in Japan and 2.1 percentage points in the European Union Five. Android saw growth in all of those markets except in China.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

Despite this, Apple said earlier this year that sales during the last quarter exceeded expectations and were up 3 percent year-on-year. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus quickly became Apple’s most popular iPhone models and remained the best-selling until the iPhone X went on sale. Also, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus roll-out wasn’t completed until the end of October, so some markets didn’t yet have those phones.

Early reports had suggested Apple pushed the launch of the iPhone X due to supply issues, though that hasn’t seemed to be much of an issue. While supply did seem limited initially, the iPhone X is now much easier to buy without much of a wait.

Read the full report from Kantar Worldpanel.

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