Windows Phone growth shows mixed signals in markets surveyed by Kantar

Microsoft's Windows Phone growth efforts have included rapid updates, billion dollar acquisitions and what might be the best personal digital assistant on the market. Despite all of this, Windows Phone still has very small market share around the world and the latest data from Kantar is sending mixed signals.

Kantar gets its data by conducting interviews, lots of them, over a million in fact, and aggregates several different channels of data to construct a view of the sales of smartphones in several markets.

For the three months to July 2014, (May, June, and July) five of the ten markets that Kantar surveyed showed growth for Windows Phone but it also dropped heavily in the other markets too. In the US, Windows Phone went from 3.8% to 3.9% of sales for the time period and in Great Britian, the sales percentage jumped from 7.1% to 9.9%. Italy had the strongest growth for the platform with a leap from 7.9% to 13%; these figures represent year-over-year growth.

On the other side of the coin, in China, sales dropped from 2.3% to 0.8% and in Germany from 8.1 to 6.1%. Mexico had the biggest drop of sales from 9.5% to 5.9%.

It is important to know that even if a percentage drops, it could still result in higher sales of devices as more phones are being sold this year than in 2013. But, for the larger drops such as Mexico, it is likely safe to say that Windows Phone sales in terms of units shrank too.

You can take a look at all of the changes in the image at the top of this post that also includes iOS and Android data as well. For the most part, Android was able to steal market share from iOS in many of the markets.

Source: Kantar (PDF)

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What I don't get is why all you tech sites seem to not report the huge loses IOS has been taking over the last few reports, just look above nearly a 12% drop in the US alone for one quarter.

iOS loses market share based solely upon Android's explosive growth, however iPhone sales have INCREASED year over year since its inception while Windows Phone sales have DECREASED. Also iPhone is a single phone made by a single company yet posts record profits while Windows Phone devices are made by a plethora of companies and yet Microsoft has lost a ton of money on its failing platform.

But its still funny seeing Windows fans and the old, "but look at iOS", "wait until next year", "wait until new devices come out", "wait until the tango/mango/8/8.1 etc...update", "wait until Nokia"....well we've been waiting for what four years? Windows Phone has less market share now than Windows Mobile did when MS decided to shelve that platform.

iPhone users will always have an excuse or downplay the truth. This is actually quite funny. Thanks! There is a huge increase in sales in the smartphone market and Apple is not part of it full stop. A drop in market share from 42.7% to 30.9% is quite significant.

A better excuse would be that many Apple users are waiting for the iPhone 6 since many of them are tired of having a small screen.

"Windows Phone devices are made by a plethora of companies"
Of which MS is by far the largest supplier, probably more than 90% and "plethora" is a bit of a exaggeration.


I've come to the realization and everyone see's it, this is where WP will continue to be. They've spent billions, bought big companies, brought the OS to nearly iOS and Android standards and still no movement. It will always be a niche OS, something to tinker with. It's sad because I remember pleading with my parents to get the HTC Surround the day WP OS was released. I've had 3 different WP and a few months ago I decided it was enough and I'm back on iOS.

Except Spain, Itaty, GB (maybe India), rest of the World Android is becoming a Monopoly is what this data shows. Empire has to strike back with Azure and services like OneDrive to be successful, I think where Satya is going for.

LOL IOS is decreasing as well!!!!

that's what happens when you are about to release your new phones.. people wait. I am waiting for the Lumia 930 in Canada, or the HTC phone in canada

IOS has been decreasing for quite some time, a huge drop in the USA for this quarter of nearly 11%.
Don't expect to see the 930 coming to Canada at all. There are newer devices coming before the end of the year though.

An alternative headline could read like this:

"Holy crap! iOS has lost 11.8% of its market share in the US!"

Seriously, with the passing of each quarter, I feel like I'm watching a train wreck in slow motion. If we assume that Android will continue to maintain a dominant position in the market, the race for the number two spot looks alot more interesting. I would love to see a breakdown between OHA and AOSP derived handsets though.

The issue is that Nokia alone can't product a new phone every quarter. If Microsoft wants to keep up momentum then it needs more OEMs who release multiple phones throughout the year. But OEMs dont want to invest that much into Windows Phone. Resulting in mixed signals such as these. When Nokia releases its next batch of phones marketshare will jump again, possibly to new heights.

I think its compleetly save for OEMs to invest in Windows Phone but they all have to commit. One phone a year or less isnt going to do it. It's a vicious circle for Microsoft. Something Android never experienced. Back then OEMs needed one platform running on their phones to compete with Apple. When a couple picked Android the rest followed. Now Android has become very dominant. OEMs should be willing to commit a bit more resources to make WP's presence in stores more obvious. Now most consumers pick Android because they mostly see Android when they walk into a store. It's also in OEMs own best interest to change this before its too late.

One thing that I have not seen in these figures are the number of users holding on to their current Windows Phone. To be honest, Lumia phones are built with quality, and the OS is probably the best between the platforms. However, for regular consumers, they will not replace their phones unless it is necessary. Unlike us here, we tend to replace our phones because we go along with the technology, but that represent a very small, small number. Granted, I've been stuck with my 925 for sometime now.

I think this could very well explain places like Mexico. The 520 was a budget hit and sold well. Its still a good phone with 8.1 updates available to keep it feeling fresh. The low end market is not where everyone is buying a new phone every year.

One thing that I have not seen in these figures are the number of users holding on to their current Windows Phone. To be honest, Lumia phones are built with quality, and the OS is probably the best between the platforms. However, for regular consumers, they will not replace their phones unless it is necessary. Unlike us here, we tend to replace our phones because we go along with the technology, but that represent a very small, small number. Granted, I've been stuck with my 925 for sometime now.

Don't understand why they put Australia in these but not Canada.. Canada is bigger and is a safe haven of Blackberry. It would be interesting to see how they are competing here.

WP in Canada is very small, maybe around the 1% mark. Mostly because Bell goes all in with Samsung devices, Rogers ###### the bed big time. and Telus just seem to go with the flow.

I think it's important to note that WP's biggest losing market was even worse for iOS. The Mexican story is clearly that Mexico LOVES Android.

Mixed signals like this are far better than last quarter numbers.

The absence of newer phones is probably no stranger to the relative stagnation. Let's hope Microsoft wakes up and starts pushing some new devices in the field.

WHAT growth?

It's been stagnant since October 2010. Windows Phone was done years ago. Say thank you to Ballmer and Microsoft. At this point it's a black hole where you throw money that you never want to see again. Not really sure what MS doesn't get about "zero consumer interest." Then again, they hung on to that Zune disaster for years, way past the expiry date.

It isn't hard to keep flooding the market (under the guise of "choice") with devices that no one really cares to buy. You can launch all the "noteworthy" devices you like, and it's just surplus stock that sits there collecting dust.

The "looks promising" mantra is getting a little worn out by now.

Exactly. Look at Huawei - they've been losing money on Windows Phone devices for two-years and don't see any hope for the future. Samsung dabbled with Windows Phone and quickly backed off that strategy. HTC is desperate, so it's not surprising to see it give Windows Phone a chance.

Microsoft needs to be posting solid growth in all territories, not losing market share in half of them. At this rate Windows Phone just isn't sustainable.

Lachlan said,
its hard to grow when right before you release your new phones..

It's taken from the same point a year apart, so it's representative of market share. Windows Phone just isn't appealing to consumers.

Windows Phone's market share has decreased in half of the markets, with minimal growth in most other regions (nothing like the double-digit growth of Android). Meanwhile Android's market share has increased in all but one market.

Considering how far behind Windows Phone is this is terrible news. It's a dead platform.

Well there are a million Android phones that get released every year, so it's pretty much impossible for anybody to keep up with them. They go for quantity over quality, which certainly is the golden ratio for growth.

Studio384 said,
It indeed decreased in half of the markets, but the increase is higher.

Windows Phone lost 20% of its market share in France, 25% in Germany, 40% in Mexico and an incredible 65% in China. You can't paint that as anything but a disaster. Only in one country can it boast a double-digit market share.

Cosmocronos said,
You need to consider the size of each marks too in order to be able to get a realistic scenario.

Indeed. But if you look at the biggest markets - the US, China, Russia, Mexico, India - that's where Windows Phone is struggling.

Microsoft's worldwide market share has actually dropped to 2.5%, down from 3.4% the year before. Even in Europe, which is one of the strongest regions, it could only manage an increase of 0.9 percentage points. For the platform to stand any chance it needs to be posting massive gains.

korupt_one said,
you should learn how these things work, this is just for one quarter, and Look at IOS they are doing even worse if you look at it.

The difference is that Apple makes a lot of money and their profits are increasing. If they cared about market share, they would release more than one or two phones per year.

korupt_one said,
you should learn how these things work, this is just for one quarter
It's one quarter compared year-on-year, making it an excellent gauge for market share. Microsoft should be making substantial gains, not suffering a loss of market share of up to 65%.

These figures aren't showing "mixed signals" - they're showing that WP is in decline. The worldwide figures show a drop from 3.8% to 2.7% or 3.4% to 2.5% (depending on which figures you use) - that's terrible news for a platform that needs to be growing to stand any chance of becoming credible.

As for iOS, it is a high end product that carrier as significant profit margin - that's entirely different to WP, which is losing money. Despite that iOS is outselling WP in every market except Mexico (because of lower disposable income) and Italy (which is an outlier). At the end of the day Apple is making a huge amount of money while Microsoft is losing a lot - it doesn't take a business expert to tell you which is more desirable.

actually WP is outselling ios in Italy too from the above chart, and several others countries that are not on the above chart. And who says MS is loosing a lot of money????

korupt_one said,
actually WP is outselling ios in Italy too from the above chart, and several others countries that are not on the above chart. And who says MS is loosing a lot of money????

Personally I find comparisons between IOS and WP utterly ridiculous and groundless: they are two completely different products where the former only targets the upper end of the market while the former target all segments. It would be like saying that Ford is more successful than Aston Martin because it has a higher market share.
The real competitor of WP is Android:.... but I can understand the reasons why such comparison is not made...

Q3 should show good signs of growth. Prior to July, there just weren't any noteworthy devices launched in a number of markets. The 930 and 630 have now launched in a number of markets, and the 530, 730, 780 should flesh out Q3 from Microsoft. Q4 should bring the high end devices as well. Also New launches by other OEMs looks promising since they are just now releasing their products.

Hopefully, as I just updated my Lumia 520 to 8.1 update 1 and folder options is very good. My phone's start screen looks busy but fascinating, folders are also having live tiles feature which is very good. I see WP as a strong alternative to Android at least in my country because application situation is very good here in India. Even smallest useful transit apps are available on wp and interestingly, MS has created special section for such apps and it's very very good imo.