iPhone up in biggest European markets, China, and Australia

Apple's share of the global smartphone market increased during Q2 2015 in the five largest European countries, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Key drivers were reliability, durability, and the quality of materials Apple uses in making the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech:

Apple iOS returned to growth across all of Europe's 'big five' markets, as it recorded its first year-on-year gain in France since February 2015

The iPhone's numbers were down in the U.S., which seems to follow the typical pattern of a surge during the holiday quarter following the release of new devices, and then a lull in the summer as the next release cycle is anticipated.

Interesting twist though: LG rather than Samsung managed to pick up a lot of the ground. Over 40 percent of those who went Android cited a "good deal on the price of the phone" as the reason.

Kantar also saw gains for the iPhone in China and Australia. As Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, pointed out on the company's last conference call, the reasons for iPhone growth vary from place to place:

In certain geographies, the way that we win is to get [Android] switchers. In other geographies, the way that we win is to get people to buy their first smartphone. In other geographies, the way that we win is to get people to upgrade from their current iPhone.

Since Apple makes both the hardware and software for the iPhone, and the company has its own direct distribution channels through Apple Retail and Apple Online, any growth in market share means a growth in profit share. When it comes to customer satisfaction, Apple is already testing the upper limits of the percentage system.

But as I back up from it and look at it from more of a macro point of view, the thing that makes me very bullish is the 27 percent number [of customers who have upgraded to the iPhones 6] I just quoted; the fact that we are seeing the highest Android switcher rate; the customer satisfaction that we have on the iPhone versus the competition—it's a huge margin; the loyalty rate that we have versus competition, an enormous gap there.

Kantar has prepared a dynamic data visualization, below, so you can do your own comparison of smartphone market shares across geographies and historically over the last three years.

Next up for Apple is the launch of iOS 9 this fall and, if the company holds to pattern, new iPhones 6s to go along with it. Then, of course, comes the traditionally marvelous holiday quarter.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.