Apple's iPhone SE and iPhone 6s are the top selling phones in the UK

While it is unusual for Apple to record surge in sales of its iPhones in the period preceding its annual iPhone launch dates, Kantar WorldPanel ComTech reports that Apple's mid-range iPhone SE has done the trick this time.

Apple iPhone SE was the top selling smartphone in the UK in the second quarter of 2016, followed by iPhone 6S.

This is a major achievement for Apple considering that a slew of low-priced Android phones with premium specifications, notably OnePlus 3, Lenovo's Moto G4, Vodafone Smart Ultra 7 and others have flooded the market of late. Remarkably, iPhone 6s, Apple's existing flagship phone, stood second behind iPhone SE in the list of top selling handsets in the second quarter. Sales of Apple's iPhone SE and iPhone 6s stood at 9.2% and 9.1% of all smartphone sales in the period, pushing up Apple's share in the UK market to 37.2%, up from 34.1% in the first quarter.

Apple hopes to sell 2 million Apple Watch 2s every month

The news comes not long after Bloomberg reported that iPhone SE was a major contributor to Apple's positive earnings in the last quarter. Accounting for as much as 23% of all iPhone sales in the period, the first budget iPhone from Apple has kept the ship afloat and will continue to do so until iPhone 7 and 7 Plus take up the reigns.

“The customer demand for our products was significantly stronger than we had anticipated at the beginning of the quarter. We were not able to fulfil iPhone SE demand throughout the quarter. We have now been able to put in enough capacity to provide sufficient supply for the next quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Chief Financial Officer at Apple. 

Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, which previously reported on Android phones outselling iPhones and Windows phones in the first quarter of the year, adds that sales of iPhones in EU5 countries, an acronym for Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK, rose for the first time since the third quarter of last year. Apple's market share in the EU5 market now stands at 18.2% and at 31.8% in the United States. Apple has thus performed twice as well in the UK market in the second quarter compared to the EU5 region as a whole.

Android phones lag behind iPhones in terms of performance, says report

In the United States, sales of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have exceeded those of Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge as sales of both categories of phones took up 15.1% and 14.1% respectively of overall smartphone sales. Even though iPhone 6s and 6s Plus continue to be the top selling smartphones in China as well, Apple's overall share in the Chinese market has gone down from 19.7% in Q2 of last year to 17.9% in Q2 of this year.

"With strong demand for the iPhone SE throughout the second quarter, it will be interesting to track whether iOS growth will continue through the third quarter, assuming that supplies become less constrained," said the Kantar WorldPanel ComTech research report. "Anticipation for the newest iPhone, usually released in late September every year, typically means a weaker summer period for iOS. However, sales data shows that 49% of US iPhone owners and 51% of Chinese iPhone owners own an iPhone 5s or older. This represents a large opportunity to upgrade these consumers to the latest four-inch iPhone."

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