According to data from price comparison site uSwitch Apple accounted for the four best-selling mobile handsets in the UK last year, and six of the top ten.
Handsets are tracked by specific SKU, taking into account embedded flash storage, and the number one UK seller of 2015 was the 16GB iPhone 6. While this was fairly predictable it was rather more surprising to see the two-year old 16GB iPhone 5s come in at number two. Apple established the strategy of continuing to offer its older models, but at a discount, when it launches a new one and the enduring popularity of the 5s is a vindication of this approach, at least in the UK.
Next comes the more expensive 64GB iPhone 6 and, despite only being launched in September of last year, the 16GB iPhone 6s still managed to be the fourth best-selling handset of the year, topping the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6, which was launched five months earlier. Apple and Samsung share the rest of the top ten, with no other vendor troubling the scorers.
Top ten handsets for 2015 (correct on 23rd December)
|#||Handset||Powered by||UK release date|
|1||Apple iPhone 6 (16GB)||iOS||September 2014|
|2||Apple iPhone 5s (16GB)||iOS||September 2013|
|3||Apple iPhone 6 (64GB)||iOS||September 2014|
|4||Apple iPhone 6s (16GB)||iOS||September 2015|
|5||Samsung Galaxy S6 (32GB)||Android||April 2015|
|6||Apple iPhone 5c (8GB)||iOS||April 2014|
|7||Apple iPhone 6s (64GB)||iOS||September 2015|
|8||Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (32GB)||Android||April 2015|
|9||Samsung Galaxy Note 4||Android||October 2014|
|10||Samsung Galaxy S5 (16GB)||Android||April 2014|
“Interestingly, Apple isn’t actually doing anything particularly ground-breaking,” said Rob Kerr of uSwitch. “Mobile payment technology existed before Apple Pay, voice recognition before Siri and Force Touch before 3D Touch.
“So why do we like iPhones so much? The fatally attractive combination includes a sleek design, right down to the packaging, and an intuitive and evolving user experience, plus Apple’s colossal brand power, and an ecosystem that locks users in to its TV, music and payment systems. If you’re already an Apple convert, you’ll know it’s hard to escape once you start buying into the brand.”
While Apple may not be doing anything special neither are its competitors. Smartphone innovation stalled a few years ago as the optimal form factor and feature set was reached and now all manufacturers are limited to relatively minor tweaks in their annual product refresh. In circumstances like this brand power becomes even more important, which puts Apple at a massive advantage.