We might all be a bit too transfixed on the Android versus Apple battle for market share, and miss the real battleground looming on the horizon. It is not about the fight for first place. Android has secured that position for the foreseeable future. It is about the fight for the world’s second most dominant mobile ecosystem. Interestingly, it is Windows Phone that is now holding second place in several markets.
In Latin America, Windows Phone now holds second place in Mexico, Peru and Columbia. Windows Phone actually managed to take a good 25.6% of the market in Columbia. Moving over to Asia, you have Taiwan where Windows Phone has moved into second place taking 2% of the market. That does not sound like much, but when you consider that Android holds 97% of the Taiwan market, it does mean that Windows Phone is now outselling Apple’s iPhone by a ratio of 2:1. Set your sights a bit to the North, and you will find Windows Phone also in second place in India, with a 5.4% market share. Android holds 91% of the market in India, with Apple’s iPhone holding 2.3% of the market.
Europe is another place where Windows Phone is making serious headway. Windows Phone now accounts for a 9.2% share of the market in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Windows Phone has hit double digit sales share figures in France and Great Britain with 10.8% and 12% respectively, and coming within 1% of Apple iOS in Germany.
Windows Phone still does not have a significant share in key markets like North America, China and Japan. More alarmingly, Windows Phone actually saw its market share halved in China, going from 4.7% in a three month period ending August 2012, to 2.1% in the same period in 2013. Notably, Apple has also lost market share in China during the same period, both operating systems being battered by a strong surge of Android phones in that market.
There is a key change that might affect all this. Nokia Lumia Windows Phones are soon to become Microsoft Lumia phones. We will have to see how well Microsoft fares running a hardware company and how well the Microsoft name will be received. If things go they way they have been, Windows Phone could be the second most dominant ecosystem in three years time.