WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
According to new Kantar Worldpanel data, the Windows Phone operating system should also be added to the list. The latest numbers have Microsoft's smartphone OS just 1 percentage point behind Apple for OS market share sales in the country.
But it's not just in Germany where the OS gaining traction, the five biggest European smartphone markets seems to be warming to Microsoft's smartphone operating system as well.
What a difference a year makes
Last year, in the three-month period ending in August, Windows Phone captured a total of 5.1% smartphone OS market share sales in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. But during the same time this year, that share had jumped to 9.2%, while iOS took 16.1%.
Great Britain gives Windows Phone the most love with a solid 12% of OS market share sales over the past three months. That's in stark contrast to U.S. consumers who handed over just 3% market share sales to the Windows Phone OS.
But the most important data coming from Kantar is that although Android took about 70% of European smartphone OS sales market share over the past three months, the research company thinks the little green droid has reached its saturation point in developed countries. As Kanta points out, "After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find."
The research company said that over the past three months Windows Phone achieved double-digit sales market share in two European countries – Great Britain and France – for the first time ever. This move coupled with iOS gains is expected to bring a slight retreat of the Android OS going forward. Part of the shift has come as Samsung has reached a saturation point in Europe and other OEMs move in.
Judging by the graph, Apple and other vendors still have a long way to go before catching up to Samsung, though.
Wind in the sails, but storms ahead
Kantar isn't the only one seeing gains for Windows Phone OS, thanks to Nokia . Last month, research firm IDC said in a press release that, "Nokia has clearly been the driving force behind the Windows Phone platform and we expect that to continue. However, as more and more vendors enter the smartphone market using the Android platform, we expect Windows Phone to become a more attractive differentiator in this very competitive market segment."
With Microsoft's pending acquisition of Nokia's devices and services segment, the company has the opportunity to build on the momentum it's gained in Europe. The big question is whether Microsoft can tap into the two the largest smartphone markets, the U.S. and China. Though the OS made a slight gain over the past three months in the U.S., it fell to just 2.1% in China from 4.7% the same time last year.
While Windows Phone gains in Europe are good news for Microsoft investors, gaining traction in the U.S. and China are going to be extremely difficult. This year, China will ship nearly one-third of all worldwide smartphone shipments, and it's imperative Microsoft make this market a top priority. Last month, Microsoft's VP of advertising and online, Frank Holland, said at a conference in Germany, "We are going to spend a lot of time in the next 12 months building a real presence on the low-end smartphone market with developing countries." Let's hope that means China sees a significant portion of that money to build the Windows Phone presence in the country. Though European market share is good, China is where the real growth is and Microsoft can't afford to pass it up.
30 September 2013
Windows Phone nears double digit share across Europe
Samsung begins to feel pressure from resurgent Sony, Nokia and LG
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to August 2013, shows Windows Phone has posted its highest ever sales share of 9.2% across the five major European markets* and is now within one percentage point of iOS in Germany. Android remains the top operating system across Europe with a 70.1% market share, but its dominant position is increasingly threatened as growth trails behind both Windows and iOS.
Windows Phone has hit double digit sales share figures in France and Great Britain with 10.8% and 12% respectively – the first time it has recorded double digits in two major markets.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find. Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony, Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.”
Dominic continues: “Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low and mid range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone’.
Across the globe
In the United States, Apple continues to grow strongly year on year and now makes up 39.3% of sales. This is set to spike in the coming months with the release of the iPhone 5S & 5C.
Apple and Android have recorded almost identical shares of sales in Japan – 48.6% and 47.4% respectively. However, news that the new iPhone range will be available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for the first time, makes it likely that Apple will pull ahead of Android in this key market.
BlackBerry’s troubles continue; the operating system now accounts for just 2.4% of sales across the big five European markets* and 1.8% in the United States.
Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stands at 67% in August, with 85% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.
*The big five European markets includes Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
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