Windows Phone now accounts for one in ten smartphone sales across the five major European markets and has seen strong growth in the UK, but Android still leads the way, according to new research.
The new data, from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, looks at smartphone sales during the 3-month period from July through to September, across a number of regions.
View larger image
Research for the three months to September 2013 shows Windows Phone accounts for 11.4% after growing by 7.2 percentage points year-on-year.
However, Android still remains the number one operating system with 58.4% of the market share, while BlackBerry’s share has dropped by 5.4 percentage points to 3.1%.
Apple’s iOS dipped by 1.0 percentage point to 27.0%, but Kantar predicts its market share will increase at Christmas.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: “August is traditionally a quiet month for Apple as consumers wait for the release of new models, and strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C at the end of September did not manage to make up for the lull.
“The full impact of the new iPhones will be seen at Christmas, when iOS is expected to bounce back strongly in Britain, the US and Australia.”
The Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, also indicates that Windows Phone has even overtaken iOS in Italy, and is gaining momentum in emerging markets.
The research shows that the growth of the Windows Phone operating system is being driven almost entirely by Nokia sales.
Sunnebo said: “Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian, it now has an opportunity to regain the top spot.
“The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step. Price is the main barrier in developing markets and the budget Lumia 520 opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.”
Android remains the dominant operating system across Europe with 71.9%, an increase of 4.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year.
China is increasingly dominated by Android which accounts for 81.1% of the market, up 14.6 percentage points from last year. Domestic manufacturers made up 44% of smartphone sales in the latest period, compared to just 30% the previous year. Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Coolpad handsets are particularly popular outside of China’s largest cities and represent a more value-for-money option than global brands.
Sunnebo comments: “Chinese consumers are prepared to make a huge investment in their smartphone, with some spending up to 70% of their monthly salary on a new device. With such a high investment, Chinese consumers want to get the best value for money and are increasingly opting for a high-spec local brand over a low-spec global equivalent. The message for global manufacturers is clear – Chinese consumers demand value, and overpriced entry-levels models no longer cut it against increasingly impressive local competition.”