The launch of the iPhone 6 has made a significant impact on Android's market share. New data from Kantar shows that Android's share of the smartphone market has actually dropped for the first time since 2013.
Kantar released new data on Wednesday that showed a drop of 2 percentage points in Android's share of the smartphone market in the US. What's important here is the time period in which the data comes from: The three months up to November 2014.
Apple's latest phone, the iPhone 6, was released on September 19. That means the Kantar data covers the smartphone market surrounding the launch of the phone, giving us insight on how it affects the market.
The data shows that Android slipped from 50.4% share of the US smartphone market in the three months ending November 2013 to 48.5% for the same period in 2014. The last time that Android's market share in the US dropped was September 2013.
Android saw bigger drops in Europe. Looking at data from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, we can see that Android's share of the smartphone market fell 3.2% to 69.9%.
The caveat here is that iPhone 6 was Apple's first all-new phone product release since 2012. The data covers the three months concurrent with the release, when consumers tend to go crazy for the new Apple phone, and thus was always likely to be Apple's biggest-selling quarter. So it's not a truly representative view of Android's fortunes.
But still. Losing share on any day is a bad thing. Especially when your business model is dependent on mass consumer uptake — as Android's is.
The fact that Android's market share is falling is particularly bad news for Apple's arch-rival Samsung. It had been trying to compete with Apple in the high-end phone market, but has recently lost its traction. Samsung even admitted that its expensive phones are failing to stand up against the iPhone. "Our high-end smartphone sales result was somewhat weak," said a Samsung executive in an October conference call.
What's surprising about the Kantar data is that high-end smartphones can still make a dent in the global market — as long as they're Apple's.
Companies like China's Xiaomi have been shaking up the smartphone industry by producing cheap Android phones that stand up well when compared with more expensive models from Samsung.
Low-cost Android smartphones are now the real core of Android's traction around the world, with Kantar data showing that Android is dominant in markets like Europe (69.9% of market share) and China (80.4% of market share).