Windows Phone gains ground in UK

As Android slips slightly, particularly in the US
Darren Allan

January 24, 2013
Nokia Lumia 920

It seems that Windows Phone is finally carving out some serious market share in the UK (and Europe), while Android growth is slowing, according to the latest research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Android is still top of most of the major global smartphone markets, of course – except for the US and Japan, where iOS reigns supreme – according to the sales data which is drawn from the final quarter of last year.

In the US, iOS has a 51 per cent grip on the market versus Android’s 44 per cent market share, with the number of defectors from Android to iOS doubling compared to 2011 – a rather surprising statistic.

Windows Phone isn’t doing so well in the States at 3.6 per cent, but Microsoft’s mobile OS has experienced strong European growth – in the UK it’s now up to a respectable 5.9 per cent (nearly trebling, year-on-year), and in Italy it has hit 13.9 per cent.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented: “At the end of 2012 the global OS picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it experienced over the past year is beginning to slow as easy wins from first time smartphone buyers begin to reduce.”

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries. However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

As for the top smartphone manufacturer in the UK – that’s Samsung on a 35 per cent market share, but the company is very closely followed by Apple on 32 per cent.

The number of Brits who now own smartphones is still on the rise, hitting 61 per cent, with four out of five mobile sales now being smartphones.


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