It’s a Google-Apple-Samsung Smartphone Market

Three Companies Tighten Hold on US Consumers

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) today released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone operating systems and brands for the calendar quarter that ended June 30, 2018. This analysis features findings about market share trends in mobile phone operating systems and brands in the US from April-June, 2018.

CIRP research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, and the two major phone manufactuers, Apple and Samsung, accounted for most of the phone activations in the second quarter of 2018.

In the June 2018 quarter, Android accounted for 63% of US activations and iOS accounted for 36% (Chart 1).

  Chart 1: Operating System Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Chart 1: Operating System Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Apple iOS improved its share of activations relative to last quarter and to one year ago. This reverses the trend from a year ago, when Apple’s share fell relative to the March 2017 quarter. As we’ve seen before, consumers have become increasingly loyal to an operating system. While iOS gained share in a quiet quarter, in the past six quarters its share has ranged from 29- 39% of activations. Over time we expect Android and iOS to continue to split the market, with Android at about two-thirds of activations, and iOS at one-third.

Among phone brands, Apple and Samsung each had 36% of US activations in the quarter, with LG at 12% (Chart 2).

  Chart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone ActivationsChart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Chart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone ActivationsChart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Apple improved in part at Samsung’s expense, whose share of activiations declined relative to both last quarter and last year. In a quarter without any significant phone launches, Samsung had market share only equal to Apple’s. A year ago, Samsung had a considerably greater share of sales.

We’ve seen a consolidation in the US market. Of course, Apple iOS and Google Android completely dominate operating systems. Apple and Samsung have begun to similarly dominate brands. LG and Motorola have each lost ground in the past year, with their lowest combined share in the past six quarters. Other brands, such as HTC, Alcatel, and others, hold some of the non-Apple, non-Samsung share, but none has shown signs of even approaching double-digit share.

CIRP bases its findings on a survey of 500 US subjects that activated a new or used phone in the April-June 2018 period. For additional information, please contact CIRP.