Apple is the most preferred smartphone brand for consumers looking to change their device in the U.S., followed by Samsung, Motorola, and LG, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The shopper monitoring and analytics company also declares that the rapid growth in the smartphone market we’ve witnessed for the past decade is over.
Smartphone penetration has hit 65 percent in the U.S., 74 percent in the “EU5” (U.K., Spain, Germany, France, and Italy) and 72 percent in urban China, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In 2016, there will be two main factors that will drive even further adoption: stubborn feature-phone owners finally giving in to buying a smartphone and convincing current smartphone owners that they need the latest generation of handheld technology, according to Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The innovation in current smartphones is a double-edged sword: While it may draw current owners to upgrade, it may also extend the life cycle of smartphones. This is affirmed by data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which found that smartphone life cycles are lengthening in the U.S. and EU5. Meanwhile, the smartphone life cycle in China lengthened in 2014 and shortened in 2015.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech forecasts that 46 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. plan on upgrading in the next 12 months, while 48 percent of smartphone owners in the EU5 and 28 percent of smartphone owners in urban China plan to do the same.
“The smartphone market will never again see the growth of the past 10 years. But the opportunities to monetize from what has already been built are there for those with the vision to find and seize them,” according to Milanesi.
The company reports that in the U.S., 40 percent of consumers who plan to upgrade their device prefer Apple, followed by 35 percent who prefer Samsung, 6 percent who prefer Motorola, and 5 percent who prefer LG.
The order of the top three preferred smartphone brands in the EU5 is Samsung, Apple, and Sony; in urban China, it’s Apple, Huawei, and Samsung.