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Apple’s iPhone is still king in the U.S. and China, despite slowing smartphone demand

Apple’s most recent financial report paints a gloomy picture of the iPhone, with flat sales throughout the year and a possible downturn in sales in the next few months. Regardless, the iPhone is still the most popular smartphone in both the U.S. and China, according to Kantar Worldpanel, and customer loyalty is at its highest in four years in the United States.

The iPhone has been the premier brand in the U.S. for a few years, so it’s not surprising that the iPhone 6S is the most popular smartphone in the country. Samsung is the only major competitor to Apple in the States, according to the report the Galaxy S6 came second in the popularity charts, followed by the iPhone 6.

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Even with two of the three spots for most popular smartphones locked down, not everything in the U.S. is looking peachy for Apple. Less customers moved from Android to iOS in the past three months, and first time buyers contributed less to Apple’s overall sales, dropping from 20 percent to 11 percent in a year, according to the Kantar report.

Android is also seeing more growth in the States, moving from 51-percent in December 2013 to 59-percent in December 2015. In the same time period, iOS went down from 44-percent to 39-percent market-share. Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and ‘other’ operating systems all lost market-share in the past two years. Android appears to be the de-facto platform for all customers who don’t want an iPhone.

In Europe, only the U.K. shows major interest in Apple’s iPhones, with France, Spain, Italy, and Germany all at over 70-percent market-share for Android. Windows Phone also continues to see traction in Europe, with over eight-percent market-share in France, Italy, and the U.K.

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In China, Apple has a lot more competition to fight against, but somehow the three most popular devices in urban areas are the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone 6. Apple’s brand seems to be most dominant in places where people can afford high-end smartphones. Huawei holds the most sales across the entire country, with 34-percent of all smartphone sales. It’s followed by Xiaomi, which grabbed 24-percent of sales, but Huawei’s lead over Xiaomi is growing wider.

Huawei and Xiaomi both reported a large rise in sales figures for last year, at 100 million and 70 million, respectively. The growth of these companies and other Chinese manufacturers like OnePlus, ZTE, Oppo, Meizu, Lenovo, and others could pose more problems for Apple in China down the line.