Apple’s attempts to convince Android users to switch to iOS are having an effect in Europe. New data from Kantar WorldPanel shows that in the first quarter of 2015, close to 33 percent of new iPhone sales were to former Android users — something that Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted about during Apple’s most recent earnings call. “We continue to see a higher rate of switchers than we have seen in previous cycles,” said Cook last month. “The current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches in the three previous years.”
apple extended its trade-in program to cover android smartphones
To encourage these switchers, Apple has released step-by-step guides for migrating data to iOS, and in March this year even extended its trade-in program to cover all smartphones. In Europe and in the US, customers can hand in their Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone devices for credit toward a new iPhone. This scheme was probably implemented too recently (at the end of March) to have had a big effect on Kantar’s data, but it signals Apple’s ambition to continue luring Android users over to iOS.
The decision to offer bigger screens with the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also continues to pay dividends, with iOS sales in phablet-loving China up 9.2 percentage points to make up 26.1 percent of new smartphones sold. Android’s popularity fell by a similar amount — down 8 percentage points to a (still healthy) 72 percent of sales. Despite Android’s strength in China, driven largely by local companies like Xiaomi and Huawei, the country has proved to be a massive success for Apple, and is now the iPhone maker’s second-biggest market. And if Apple can be as adept in China as it is in Europe at tempting Android users to switch to iOS, its sales figures can only continue to rise.