While many of us Windows Mobile enthusiast sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for Insider builds and news about potential flagships, the world of smartphones spins on. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the smartphone sales data for the three months ending in April of this month reflect some trends we already knew, and some new ones that are developing.
Despite the cries from frustrated Windows Mobile enthusiasts for flagship devices, Microsoft has been able to remain steady in the US and increase its market share in a few European countries without one. In North America, Windows Phone held its market share of 3.8% YoY for the three months ending in April. Windows Phone saw its smartphone market share increased 0.7% across the EU5 region, up 9.2% this year from 8.4% last year.
Overall, Windows Phone saw specific gains in Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Australia this year while their market shares in Spain, Great Britain, and China showed some losses. With the Windows team transitioning into bug fix and feature polish mode for Windows 10 on the PC, perhaps we’ll see a ramp up in Windows 10 Mobile development.
While Windows Phone continues to ride a familiar trend of market share development, over in the Android and the iOS world, things are shaping up a bit differently. Android in the US is increasing its smartphone market share but continues to struggle in Europe, whereas iOS is witnessing gains across most European countries. Based on a report from Kantar’s media contact David Wright, the summary of Androids current smartphone position rest on the idea that Android Needs Hero Flagship device to Regain OS Market Share. At one point, the Android operating system accounted for close to 80% market share across Europe's big five markets that include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Today, Android’s market share has dropped to around 70.5% for those areas. This report indicates that Android’s market share declined by 2.3 percentage points this year compared to last year for the area.
According to Kantar, “In Great Britain, Android's share dropped by 4.9 percentage points, with the number of first-time smartphone buyers continuing to decline to 15.1% from 21.8% in 2014 – and growth is coming from replacement sales, where both OS and brand loyalty play a big role.” That statement was no more evident than when comparing Android’s numbers in the US where the market share saw a 2.9% increased year over year. The Galaxy S5 and Note 4 remain amongst the top five best-selling models in the Android ecosystem. Kantar believes that in the Android ecosystem, no other OEM currently is in a better position to capitalize on brand loyalty, than Samsung.
As far as iOS is concerned, its market share is giving way to Android in the US but making gains internationally across Europe and China. In urban China, Apple was able to reach 24.4% market share. During the same period last year, iOS market share sat at 17.5%. In Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Italy, and Spain iOS saw gains of up to 6.3 percentage points. Beyond the US, iOS saw dips in France and Japan this year as well. Trends are showing that while Android still holds significant smartphone market share worldwide, the operating systems is giving ground to iOS and a lesser extent Windows Phone. For Android, the saturation of the market is establishing new purchasing dynamics.
What in your opinion should Microsoft do to boost Windows Phone market share? Will flagship devices do the trick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.