Android and iOS continue to dominate the mobile market while Windows Phone and the rest play catch up. Old hat, right? Well, here’s a welcome change. According to the latest numbers released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Windows Phone finally seems to be taking off.
The Microsoft mobile OS saw a whopping 52 percent growth in December, January and February combined as compared to the same three months in the last financial year. It’s only fair to expect such a growth during the holiday season, but in fact the data shows that Windows Phone is the fastest growing OS in the US. With 4.1 percent market share, it is clearly lagging behind iOS and Android, but it has seen a rise of 1.4 percent from last year’s sale figures, which are encouraging, considering how Android has grabbed some of the market share from iOS.
With 51.2 percent of the smartphone market in its favour, Android saw a 5.8 percent growth, while iOS’s share fell to 43.5 percent, down by 3.5 percent as compared to last year.
Windows Phone is outselling iPhones in some regions
Earlier this week, we heard from Microsoft about how Windows Phone devices have been outselling iPhones in certain countries. These latest figures only seem to vindicate Microsoft’s claims. Frank Shaw, the Public Relations Chief at Microsoft, cited data received through an IDC survey to say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone is outshining Apple’s offering in certain regions.
Kevin Restivo, an analyst at IDC, told New York Times that the countries where Windows Phone shipments exceeded those of iPhone during the fourth quarter are India, Poland, Argentina Russia, South Africa and Ukraine. In addition, WP8 has been a hotseller in a group of smaller countries that are classified as ‘rest of central and eastern Europe.’
According to Kantar’s numbers, Windows Phone has also seen a sharp rise in adoption in Italy. 13.1 percent of the smartphone sales in the country are for devices running Microsoft’s OS, which is an encouraging sign indeed. In Italy, Android holds a whopping 57.1 percent of the market, but iOS with 23.1 percent share is in danger of being eclipsed by Windows Phone if the trend continues. WP8 has seen an increase in market share of 7.7 percent in the European country as compared to iOS’s 2.3 percent. So it looks like Microsoft is poised to win the race, considering the imminent launch of more Nokia Lumia phones – Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 – in the country.
In the UK too, signs point toward a promising next few quarters for Microsoft. Nokia has seen gains and now holds 5.6 percent of the market. And it’s not just old, discounted Windows Phone 7 and 7.8 phones that are selling. According to Kantar, the rise in market share is being driven by Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, which should reflect greatly in the revenue stream, thanks to the higher margins.
Of course, we will have to wait for Q2 numbers and beyond to confirm the Windows Phone resurgence, but the latest figures bode well for Microsoft. Now if only some more OEMs get behind the platform like Nokia has.