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Consumers in Spain don't care about iPhone

Staff writer |
Historically, Spain has been a lucrative market for Android mobile phones and smartphones partly because Apple handsets were too pricey for many consumers.

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Now that the Spanish economy is reviving, one might expect phones using iOS and other operating systems to gain share. But this may not be happening, according to recent data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

On the contrary: Android’s share of smartphone sales in March 2015 was even higher than in March 2014, moving from 88.6% to 89.9% of the total, Kantar reported. Both iOS and Windows Phone saw their shares of sales trimmed, to 7.0% and 2.8%, respectively.

Operating system (OS) distribution across the existing user base will be a bit different to recent sales share, of course, as millions of older phones are still in use. When the Interactive Advertising Bureau Spain (IAB Spain) and The Cocktail Analysis canvassed smartphone users ages in Q3 2014, they found a higher proportion of iOS users, at 13%.

Some 4% of respondents had a Windows Phone, with BlackBerry and Symbian claiming 2% each. But 79% of users did have an Android handset.

It should be noted that this survey polled smartphone users ages 18 to 55, while the Kantar panel included internet users ages 15 and older. By excluding the youngest and oldest respondents and concentrating on smartphone users rather than internet users, the IAB Spain sample was arguably more likely to contain consumers who wanted an iPhone and also had the money to buy one.

In the longer term, the balance of mobile OS usage in Spain may well shift again as the smartphone market matures further. As a result of the long-term economic and infrastructure problems that have inhibited consumer spending and mobile network development, Spain doesn’t yet register the levels of smartphone penetration seen in the Nordic countries, the UK or Germany.

eMarketer estimates that in 2015, an estimated 63.2% of mobile phone users in Spain will have at least one smartphone and use it at least monthly, compared with 76.0% or more in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and 73.6% in the UK.

Yet this year Spain’s population of smartphone users is expected to reach 25 million—the fifth largest in Western Europe. Within four years, that number will pass 30 million, eMarketer predicts.


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