Kantar has published today its latest smartphone OS data for the third quarter of 2016. As usual, the monthly report mostly focuses on iOS and Android gains while both Apple’s iPhone 7 launch and Samsung’s first recall of the Galaxy Note 7 dominated the mobile narrative in September. However, we’ll know more about the current state of Windows Phone by looking at Kantar’s detailed numbers below.
In the US, Microsoft’s mobile OS claimed a 1.9% OS share during Q3 2016, which is down 2 percentage points compared to the same period a year ago. In Europe’s big five markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), Windows Phone accounted for 3.8% of smartphone sales during the same period (down 5.6 percentage points), with the mobile OS recording its biggest losses in Italy (down 7.8 points), France (down 7.1 points) and Great Britain (down 6.2 points). In Asia, the OS maintained its anecdotic 0.5% OS share in Japan while Windows phones have now completely disappeared from the radars in China.
Among other highlights, Kantar noted that Apple’s new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphone were the best selling smartphones in the US during the month of September. "Strong sales of the iPhone 7 and the lower-priced iPhone 6s, the second best-selling device in the US in September, contributed to an overall growth of iOS to 34.2% in the third quarter of 2016," shared Kantar analyst Lauren Guenveur. In Great Britain, the new iPhones were also the top selling smartphones in September, helping iOS reach a 40.6% OS share in Q3 2016.
Kantar also had some comments about Samsung whose US smartphone sales fell to 33.8% in Q3 2016 (down 3.1 percentage points) amid its Galaxy Note 7 snafu. "The holiday sales season may prove to be more challenging than normal for Samsung, who competes head-to-head with Apple during this crucial time of year," added Guenveur. However, the Korean manufacturer accounted for 30.4% of smartphone sales in Great Britain during the same period, which was "the only market where Samsung made year-on-year gains" according to Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo.
You can read Kantar's full report over here if you want more details about iOS and Android performances in most major markets. Of course, it has become increasingly difficult to remain optimistic about Windows Phone as sales have fallen of a cliff in markets where the OS used to be quite popular. However, this hasn't discouraged Alcatel to launch its Idol 4S handset trough T-Mobile in the US while Lenovo is expected to launch its Softbank 503SV handset in Japan next week. But as Microsoft is rumored to end sales of its Lumia phones this December, Windows Phone will really need more OEM support to avoid becoming completely irrelevant next year.