Apple’s iPhones weaken Google’s Android dominance in developing markets

  • Apple’s iPhone wins over Android in India and other developing and emerging markets.
  • CEO Tim Cook touts “very powerful” Android Switches and hints the iPhone SE is here to stay.
  • Data shows that iPhone demand is growing in India, although Android still dominates this market.

Watch out Google. The iPhone is beginning to shake the dominance of Android smartphones in developing markets, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is confident that more gains are to come.

During this week’s third-quarter earnings call, Cook pointed to “very strong shifts” from Android handsets to iPhones, as well as “particularly strong growth” in developing and emerging markets, including the India, Latin America and Vietnam.

“We had an incredible quarter for emerging markets,” he added, and then noted the June quarter sales records in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia.

If this success continues, it would be a major shift in the mobile landscape. Ever since smartphones became popular over a decade ago, Apple has focused on the higher end of the market with mostly high-end handsets. That has left Android gobbling up market share in emerging markets, where many consumers can’t afford expensive phones.

But last year, Apple launched a new iPhone SE starting at $399, about half the price of a typical iPhone. This has helped the company make serious gains in countries like India, where it has struggled for years.

“India is a good example, where Apple’s iPhone has doubled its market share over the past year,” said Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates iPhone demand in India grew 136% year-over-year in the last quarter, compared to 73% for Android smartphones.

Mawston pointed out that the iPhone is going from a much weaker base in those markets — it’s gone from around 1% market share last year to 2% this year so far. “But the opportunity to cut prices for further growth in shipments tomorrow is huge for Apple,” the analyst said.

UBS analyst David Vogt asked Cook this week about Apple’s pricing strategy, and Cook strongly hinted that the iPhone SE has helped sales in emerging markets and will be around for a while. time again.

“We always have long-term SE,” Cook said. “We want something for the entry buyer who really wants to get into an iPhone, and then something for the professional buyer who wants the best iPhone they can buy. And I think that’s true in the markets. emerging as well as that’s true in the United States or other developed markets.”

Apple’s iPhone and iOS operating systems have even made notable gains over Android in the US in recent years. A report released late last year by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners found that iOS and Android smartphone activations were evenly split across the United States, as reported by MacRumors. In 2017, iOS had about a third of activations in the United States.

“Apple gained market share in 2020 and 2021, particularly with the success of the iPhone 12 line,” said Maurice Klaehne, research analyst at Counterpoint. “Carriers are heavily promoting 5G smartphones to bring customers onto 5G service plans, which has helped Apple upgrade more of its base lately.”

A Google spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

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