Windows Phone is still down in Kantar’s latest smartphone OS data

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Kantar has released today its latest smartphone OS data for the three months ending October 2016, which highlights significants iOS gains across most regions following the launch of the iPhone 7 in September. As for Windows Phone, the mobile OS is once again down in all markets compared to the same period a year ago, though this has been pretty much the theme for 2016 so far.

In the US, Windows Phone claimed a 1.2% OS share (down 1.4 percentage points YoY), which is 0.7 percentage points lower compared to last month’s numbers. In Europe’s big five markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), the mobile OS accounted for 3.2% of smartphone sales during the period (down 5 percentage points YoY), with France remaining the market where Windows Phone grabbed the biggest OS share (4.8%).

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, November 2016

Looking closer at the US market, Kantar noted that iOS grew 7 percentage points year-over-year to reach a 40.5% OS share during the period, which represents “the strongest rate of growth for the OS in more than two years, as well as the highest share seen since the three months ending January 2015.” According to Kantar’s Lauren Guenveur, the bad buzz around Apple’s removal of the headphone jack on the latest iPhone models didn’t not matter with US consumers who clearly voted with their wallets for the new handsets. Additionally, Google’s new Pixel phones which were released in late October still managed to catch up to Microsoft’s phone sales in the US in that short period of time:

The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for US iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6% of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full three month period. iPhone 7 Plus was the 4th best-selling device at 5.3%, behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7. Google achieved 0.5% of smartphone sales, a strong showing given that the Pixel was only widely available from October 20th. In that short time, Google has reached market parity with more established brands like Huawei and Microsoft, who are also at 0.5%.

While iOS only accounted for 21.2% of smartphone sales in EU5 (up 1.4% points YoY), Apple’s latest iPhones were also strong sellers in most regions, with Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo explaining that “iPhone 7 cracked the top 10 smartphones sold in all regions but Spain, which remains dominated by the Android ecosystem at 91.7% of all sales. In Great Britain, as in the US, iPhone 7 was the top selling device, pushing the previous top device (iPhone SE) to third, while iPhone 6s remained the second best-selling device.”

Among other highlights, Kantar also outlined that Android’s market share grew in all regions except the US (down 5.6% points) and Japan (down 0.2% points) during the period, and Guenveur noted that “it’s unlikely that any other OS will ever reach this level of penetration.” However, the analyst added that “while Android dominates in terms of the raw number of devices it powers, Apple remains the most desirable smartphone brand in the world.”

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