iPhone 7/7 Plus Launch Boosts Apple

Android Improves Over Year-Ago Share

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) today released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone operating systems and brands for the calendar quarter that ended December 31, 2016. This analysis features findings about market share trends in mobile phone operating systems and brands in the US from October-December 2016.

CIRP research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, controlled about 98% of US customer mobile phone activations in the third quarter (Chart 1). In the December 2016 quarter, Android accounted for 65% of US activations, up from the 58% share in the year-ago December 2015 quarter, but down from 71% in the September 2016 quarter. iOS accounted for 33% of activations, down from its 41% share in the year-ago December 2015 quarter, and up from its 26% share in the September 2016 quarter.

Chart 1: Operating System Share of Mobile Phone Activations

In the first full quarter after the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launch, long-term trends remained consistent, with Apple iOS increasing its share over the September quarter. Despite the comparison to an 'S' launch last year, iOS share was down over the September-December 2015 quarter. This likely resulted from a strong portfolio of competing Android phones introduced throughout 2016.

Among phone brands, Apple had the highest share in the US market in the December 2016 quarter, at 34%, with Samsung next at 33% and LG at 14% (Chart 2). All other brands, including Motorola, HTC, and others, accounted for 19%.

Chart 2: Brand Share of Mobile Phone Activations

Apple grabbed a decent share of the market with its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launch. The Android leader, Samsung, saw market share declines compared to last quarter and last year, as the broader array of new, mostly low-priced, Android brands gained share. In fact, these 'other' brands accounted for 14% of US mobile phone sales in the quarter, which is the highest level we have seen. LG improved over the same quarter last year, yet declined slightly relative to the September 2016 quarter, as these same phones from other manufacturers grabbed share.

CIRP bases its findings on a survey of 500 US subjects, from January 1-12, 2017, that activated a new or used phone in the October-December 2016 period. For additional information, please contact CIRP.