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  • Post published:29/07/2021
  • Post last modified:29/07/2021

Two thirds of people that plan to buy a new phone in the next 6 months will be looking for a 5G model, shows data by Kantar. That is the average around the world, in China a whopping 91% of people want a 5G phone. Care to guess which country has the lowest demand for next-gen networking? It’s Japan with only 55% of future buyers looking for 5G.

In the US, 74% of future buyers are are interested in the new networking technology with a fairly even split between the major carriers. This is reflected in the sales too. Of the Top 10 phones sold in China, 7 have 5G connectivity. In the US and Australia the number was 5 and the number was the lowest in the EU5 (the five biggest markets in Europe) at just 4. Surprisingly, despite the weak interest, half of the Top 10 phones sold in Japan have 5G.

Smartphone OS Sales Share (%)

Germany3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 2625.1-0.9
Android/ HarmonyOS73.374.41.1
Other 0.70.5-0.2
GB3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 37.837.6-0.2
Android/ HarmonyOS62.162-0.1
France3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 24.720-4.7
Android/ HarmonyOS75.179.94.8
Other 0.10.10
Italy3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 16.320.64.3
Android/ HarmonyOS83.279.4-3.8
Other 0.40-0.4
Spain3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 10.712.72
Android/ HarmonyOS89.387-2.3
Other 00.30.3
USA3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
Android/ HarmonyOS56.955.3-1.6
Other 000
China3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 16.919.22.3
Android/ HarmonyOS83.180.7-2.4
Other 0.10.10
Australia3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
Android/ HarmonyOS58.659.71.1
Other 0.20.1-0.1
Japan3 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 49.744.9-4.8
Android/ HarmonyOS50.255.14.9
Other 0.10-0.1
EU53 m/e Jun ’203 m/e Jun ’21% pt.  Change
iOS 23.423.50.1
Android/ HarmonyOS76.376.30
Other 0.30.30

COVID-19 still affects the market, but growing vaccination rates have encouraged people to return to stores. In-store sales in the UK were up 13% in Q2 compared to Q1, in the US the increase was 7%, the up-tics in Germany (+4%) and Spain (+3%) were smaller. Customers in China, Japan and Australia were less willing to return to stores.

Those buying their new phone phone in a store (instead of online) were marginally more likely to agree with the statement “I keep my smartphone for as long as I can” (it’s close, 80% vs. 77%). They tend to prefer brands they are familiar with and preferred to have someone to demonstrate new technology (which is more difficult to do with online stores).

Were people buying more Android phones or more iPhones? Android had the upper hand in Japan (thanks to higher sales by Sharp and Oppo) and in parts of Europe (with strong sales from Oppo and Samsung). Samsung sales increased in the US and Australia too, though they still lag behind iPhones.

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