Kantar's latest numbers show continued nosedive for Windows phones

Once again, Kantar has published today its latest smartphone OS data in the three months ending August 2016. As you may expect it, Windows Phone continues its downward slide both the US and Europe's big five markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) while iOS and Android are still growing. Let’s dive into the details below.

The state of Windows Phone

In the US, Windows Phone accounted for 2.3% of smartphone sales, which represents a drop of 1.2 percentage points year-over-year. Compared to last month’s numbers, this only represents a decrease of 0.1 points of percentage though Windows Phone definitely remains a niche product in the country.

In EU5, Windows Phone still claims a slightly bigger market share with 4.1% of smartphone sales during the period, though the drop is more dramatic as Kantar observed a decrease of 6.8 percentage points compared to the same period a year ago. Microsoft’s mobile OS recorded its biggest losses in France (down 8.1% points YoY), Italy (down 8.8% points YoY) and Germany (down 6.5% points YoY).

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Other highlights from Kantar’s latest numbers:

  • The US was the only market where Android was down during the three months ending August 2016: Google’s mobile OS dropped 1.7 percentage points to 65.2% while iOS increased 2.5 percentage points to 30.9%. Kantar added that "Android’s three largest manufacturing brands in the US – Samsung, LG, and Motorola – all posted year-on-year sales declines, with Samsung continuing as the top manufacturer in the region at 33.9% of smartphone sales."
  • iOS recorded significant losses in China (down 5.5% points YoY) and Australia (down 5.2% points YoY). In Japan, Apple smartphones were also down 1.9 percentage points in Japan though iOS still claims a 31.9% market share in the country.
  • Lastly, Kantar noted that while Apple and Samsung still represent 60% of all smartphone sales in mature markets such as the US, the UK and Germany, consumers are increasingly attracted to cheaper phones that offer better value. Kantar's Lauren Guenveur explained that "we are starting to see a shift to lower-cost devices as the prices of flagship products reach upwards of $800."

You can read Kantar's full report over here. While all these new reports always paint the same bleak picture about Windows phones' demise in the most important smartphone markets, we still don't know if Microsoft's mobile OS could still remain a sustainable niche for both Microsoft and its OEM partners. As of today, the HP Elite x3 could well represent the future of Windows Phone as a enterprise-focused OS, but we won't know if this new strategy will be more successful than Microsoft's previous ones until those numbers start coming in.

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