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More Android users switching over to iOS: here's why

We're well into the second quarter of 2015, which means that sales data from Q1 2015 has now started spreading across the internet. The early signs in 2015 don't bode too well for Android, with its market share decreasing while iOS' has grown in key markets like Europe and China. This is seemingly compounded by the news that 32.4 percent of Apple's European customers in Q1 2015 have switched over from Android.

iOS vs Android 2
Android's no longer biting into Apple's market share in Q1 2015. / © ANDROIDPIT

Is this as grim for Android as it sounds? Is iOS starting to eat into Android's success in the same way that we used to joke about Android taking a bite out of Apple's market share?

The latest global smartphone sales data appeared on Kantar Worldpanel, and accounts for smartphone sales in Q1 2015. In Europe's 'big five' countries, the market share held by iOS increased year-on-year by 1.8 percent to 20.3 percent, while Android's share decreased by 3.1 percent compared to the same time last year, falling to 68.4 percent. Much of Apple's global success has been attributed to its growth in China, where its share jumped from 17.9 percent to 26.1 percent in the last year.

androidpit kantar smartphone sales
Kantar's sales stats aren't as bleak as reading the report would have you believe. / © Kantar

Reading Kantar's report, you'd think that we're bearing witness to some kind of mass exodus from Android to the iOS promised land. The report's title - 'Android Switchers Drive iOS Growth in Europe's Big Five' - refers to the fact that 32.4 percent of new European Apple customers in Q1 2015 were people who switched from Android.

However, the report fails to mention how many former Apple users defected to Android in this time period. Its dramatic impact is tempered further in light of the fact that Android continues to have the lion's share of the smartphone market, which increases the likelihood that new Apple customers will be ex-Android users. With Windows Phone and Blackberry holding negligible shares of the market, it can be estimated that the remaining 67 percent of new Apple customers in Europe are those who never owned a phone before.

Despite the loaded wording of Kantar's report, it does indicate a solid Q1 2015 for iOS usage, and a less impressive one for Android in crucial markets like Europe and China. Things looked a little rosier for Android in the US, where its shared crept up by 0.2 percent to 58.1 percent, and in Japan where it leapfrogged iOS by jumping over 10 percent to 52.3 percent. 

samsung galaxy s6 edge people
iOS performed well in Q1 2015, but will phones like the Galaxy S6 Edge claw things back for Android in Q2?/ © ANDROIDPIT

It's also worth remembering that iOS market share received a big boost from the iPhone 6 release last September, while the major Android flagships of 2015 - such as the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 - were launched after the first quarter. Can these big hitters, and others like the LG G4, claw things back for Android, or is the market shifting in Apple's favor?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Readers' favorite comments

  • Guy Deridet May 8, 2015

    IOS=20% of the US and European market, Android =68%. In the whole world, IOS hits a poor 10%.

    That's the facts. Kantar's allegations are so oriented that they could be "inspired" by Apple.

    IOS and all Apple products are a niche market for rich populations and will become a world leader only the day when everybody in the world will be rich. Or completely stupid.

    Which is not for tomorow.

  • Rogue Tomato May 8, 2015

    iOS is 20% and Android is only 68%? OH NOES!! MASS EXODUS!!! Android is DOOMED! DOOMED!

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  • Marissa Mayer moved away from Google ... their software writers leave a lot to be desired ... Android was written by amateurs ... All roads lead to Apple ... abandon Microsoft, Android and Linux!

  •   8
    Yanwyn May 10, 2015 Link to comment

    Why on earth would anyone give up Android for Apple? That's downgrading isn't it? I'd rather go back to Symbian than have an iPhone!

  • I switched from being a Loyal Android user. I got tired of having late updates. The latest Nexus phones were crappy, except the Nexus 6, and other pure google phone still got late updates. I am still waiting on Lollipop on my 2013 Moto X. I happily switched over to the iPhone 6 on day one and have the latest OS updates. I also favor using it as a 128GB iPod.

  • Radnex May 9, 2015 Link to comment

    android will and remain the best over Ios Apple just it's an Open Source system

  • Slow day for news in mobile world, huh?

  • Yet another point: iOS users say they switched from Android? Why would that come as a surprise to anyone? Given that Android pretty much owns the market aside from Apple's share, what else do you think they would be switching from? Blackberry? Windows? We need more stories about how Android users say they switched from Apple. Again, it's a no-brainer. If you switch, you're probably coming from the only OTHER major platform.

  • How could anyone say that? Apple phones have always been boring? Yes... They work great. But I'll always go with the phone that let's me own it the way I want to own it. Bugs or no bugs. Plus... Let's not forget the waaaay over-priced issue.
    I just don't like Steve Jobs telling me what to do and robbing me from the grave... God rest his soul.

  • Android has high penetration but mainly in the third world while Apples is more in the first world. In the third world not many people buy apps and are not appetizing to advertisers so not only is Google not making much money out of Android but neither are Android developers leading apps that are of much lower quality than iOS. On top of that there is no vetting process on Google Play where developers can put whatever crap they want on there. Also hurting quality is there is a large number of makes and models of Android devices so its hard for Android developers to get an app to work well across many devices. Apple doesn't have this problem because all iPhones 6's are basically the same. All these problems mean that the user experience is much better on an iPhone so when people can afford it they tend to go for an Apple device. But this isn't hurting Googles penetration since Android devices continue to get cheaper and cheaper and now almost everyone in the world can afford an Android phone. Whether or not Google will make any money out of users with a cheap phone is a different matter.

  • Well if there is some kind of exodus I don't blame anyone, not that I will join the apple club, but with the slow releases of updates, buggy updates some will look for greener pastures I guess. Just wondering how can android work on muffin if lollipop isn't working properly yet? Shouldn't they rather focus on lollipop and get everything sorted out and working to near perfection before moving on to the next o/s or project? Samsungs s5 range are still on kit kat in south africa for example. And with carriers and manufacturers not informing clients of when they will receive updates and fixes just adds to the animosity/frustration in my opinion. If they don't look at bettering their service in a few years they might be something of the past. Who knows this might be a sign or wake up call for android and maybe they should take notice as clients will go else where if they aren't satisfied with android and how their product(s) are received by clients.

  • IOS=20% of the US and European market, Android =68%. In the whole world, IOS hits a poor 10%.

    That's the facts. Kantar's allegations are so oriented that they could be "inspired" by Apple.

    IOS and all Apple products are a niche market for rich populations and will become a world leader only the day when everybody in the world will be rich. Or completely stupid.

    Which is not for tomorow.

  • iOS is 20% and Android is only 68%? OH NOES!! MASS EXODUS!!! Android is DOOMED! DOOMED!

  • Andy W May 8, 2015 Link to comment

    Considering Android has become a buggy mess and all the handsets became boring and "samey" in 2015, it makes sense. After a Nexus 5 (terrible) and now a OnePlus (much better), my next phone will probably be an iPhone.

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