Kantar: iPhone takes top sales spot in early holiday shopping season

There's always an interest in seeing which brand of phone did the best during the holiday season, and new insights Kantar Worldpanel suggest that iPhone is the winner for 2016. The analytics firm looked at data for the three months ending November 2016, and is reporting that the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s were the three most popular smartphones during that period in the US. This shows strong sales at the beginning of the holiday shopping season, which would presumably carry over into December.

During this period, Kantar's data shows that three three iPhones listed above took home a combined 31.3% share – just under a third of the market. That's an impressive share, but the battle for first was close, as Samsung came in at 28.9% share thanks to the combined sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

One has to wonder if the shares would have been swapped here if the Galaxy Note 7 hadn't been discontinued in autumn. The Galaxy Note 7 was a well-reviewed device that, unfortunately for Samsung, fell victim to a battery issue that caused some handsets to catch fire. Assuming an issue-free launch for the Note 7, it could have been the difference maker in Kantar's data.

Taking a closer look at regions around the world, Kantar says that Android saw year-over-year declines in the US, UK, and France, while iOS "continued to make gains in most regions" during the three-month period. Android suffered its sixth period of decline in the US according to Kantar's data. While that sounds bad, Android still managed to net 55.6% of the US market in that period, which is a solid performance despite declines.

Of course, this data leaves out what is perhaps the most important month of all: December. Though many choose to get their holiday shopping done in November – especially those who try to take advantage of Black Friday deals – a significant amount of it still happens in December, and once we have numbers for that month, we'll get a more complete picture. Those figures will likely be coming down the pipeline shortly, so stay tuned.

SOURCE: Kantar Worldpanel