Android, Samsung Improve in Third Quarter

Quiet Quarter for Apple Before iPhone Launch

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone operating systems and brands for the calendar quarter that ended September 30, 2016. This analysis features findings about market share trends in mobile phone operating systems and brands in the US from July-September 2016.

CIRP research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, controlled about 97% of US customer mobile phone activations in the third quarter (Chart 1). In the September 2016 quarter, Android accounted for 71% of US activations, the same share as the year-ago September 2015 quarter, and up from 63% in the June 2016 quarter. iOS accounted for 26% of activations, about the same as its 27% share in the year-ago September 2015 quarter, but down from its 32% share in the June 2016 quarter.

Chart 1: Operating System Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Chart 1: Operating System Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Android and iOS market shares were almost identical to the same quarter a year ago. For the past few years Apple had its lowest share in the September quarter, when it launches new phones. This year followed that pattern.

Among phone brands, Samsung had the highest share in the US market in the September 2016 quarter, at 43%, with Apple next at 26% and LG maintaining its share at 16% (Chart 2).

Chart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Chart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Samsung had a strong quarter relative to a year ago, and compared to other brands. It increased its share strongly compared to the September 2015 quarter, taking sales from both Apple and LG. Apple had its lowest share since early 2015. Coming off this strong quarter, the impact of the Galaxy Note 7 recall will be very interesting to track.

CIRP bases its findings on a survey of 500 US subjects, from October 1-11, 2016, that activated a new or used phone in the April-June 2016 period. For additional information, please contact CIRP.