The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Windows Phone is finally starting to rise as a third option in mobile OS. In five of the major European markets which includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain Windows Phone has registered a usage increase of 8.2%.
On a year per year basis this is a 3.3% increase for Windows Phone. This is slightly higher than the growth increase of iOS in the five major European markets which registers 3.1%. Android still remains the dominant force capturing 69.1% of the market with iOS trailing behind with a 17.9% share.
According to Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, “Android and Apple take the lion’s share of the headlines and continue to dominate smartphone sales, so it’s easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary. Windows Phone, driven largely by lower priced Nokia smartphones such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico. For the first time the platform has claimed the number two spot in a major world market, taking 11.6% of sales in Mexico.”
The recent success of Windows Phone does not come from stealing iOS or Android consumers. Data shows that only 27% of Android or iOS users change their OS of choice when replacing their phones. And when they do change phones they generally choose between the two leading OS. So what is driving the recent increase in Windows Phone usage?
One of the main reasons why Windows Phone is increasing is that it is doing a good job in convincing first time smartphone users to choose one of their products. Dominic said that “Windows Phone’s success has been in convincing first time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices with 42% of sales over the past year coming from existing featurephone owners. This is a much higher proportion than Android and iOS. The Lumia 520 is hitting a sweet spot, offering the price and quality that new smartphone buyers are looking for.”
The next battleground for smartphone manufacturers will be featurephone owners which represent more than half of all mobile phone usage globally. Dominic commented that “the brands that win in this segment will be those that understand and address the needs of consumers in terms of price, content, and quality.”