Windows Phone market share on the up; doubles to 5.4% in Europe in 2012

At the end of last year we presented some info from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech that proved the Windows Phone platform was slowly but surely increasing in market share. The data from back then, though positive, did not include the sales of Windows Phone 8 devices during the holiday quarter which led us to expect even better numbers to come.

It seems that we were right, and Kantar has just published new info on the global smartphone market. This info indicates that Windows Phone 8 has had a strong impact on the Windows Phone platform and that Microsoft’s mobile operating system is finally getting some significant traction.

The best news comes from Europe where Windows Phone’s marketshare has more than doubled, with 5.4% compared with 2.6% back in 2011. Leading the pack is Italy where adoption has surged and Microsoft’s OS now accounts for a very healthy 13.9% of the market. Great news also comes out of Britain with 5.9%, up from 2.2% at the end of 2011. This is significant as the UK is one of Europe’s major markets and Windows Phone had previously been lagging there. However, this big increase tells Microsoft and its partners that they are finally doing something right.

Unfortunately Microsoft and Windows Phone are still not seeing significant gains in the US and China, the biggest and arguably most important markets out there. In the States, Windows Phone has seen only a very modest increase of 0.4% year over year which means Microsoft only controls 2.6% of the market.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments:

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries. However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

Talking about smartphone manufacturers, Sunnebo points out that Samsung still holds the number one spot but that in Britain, Nokia seems to be making a comeback, selling 6.2% of all UK smartphones - a 50% increase year over year. Also in Britain, which used to be a very lucrative market for RIM, Blackberry is really starting to feel the heat as Microsoft has almost gained on them with their 5.9% marketshare compared to RIM’s 6.4%.

It is very clear from these numbers that Microsoft and its partners are gathering momentum and while it’s slow, their market share and consumer interest are rising. China and the US remain problematic markets and we will probably see even more effort in that direction during 2013. But despite this progress, Windows Phone remains far behind its iOS and Android rivals.

Source: Kantar World Panel Via: WMPUImage via WMPU

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Android has gained market share everywhere except the USA, and in the USA IOS made solid market gain.

In Italy it looks as though everyone has traded in their old Nokia's for new ones, 14%drop in Symbian and 11% gain in Windows phone. in most markets the Symbian drop is more than the WP gain.

Just forget about the states.. It's a lost cause and a waste of marketing money. With it's locked down telecom market there is no room to move unless you sell your soul to the big carriers.

Those Italians really like Windows Phone. Almost 14%.


However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.

Theres no way the US has a larger smartphone market than the whole of Europe.

I'm pretty sure unity is already done or coming. If I remembered right they talked about it and some other game tech for WP8.

They did , and it is "nearing" , that's the thing , we still have to wait for it , till then much of the fate of WP relies of Lumias and HTC

Imagine what they'd do in Europe if they didn't keep features as US exclusives and supported Europe properly rather than treating us as second class users.

mog0 said,
Imagine what they'd do in Europe if they didn't keep features as US exclusives and supported Europe properly rather than treating us as second class users.

Those exclusives were only temporary and secondly remember one thing - when your marketshare 1% or less you have very little wiggle room when it comes to negotiating with carriers. The carriers control the pipes, decide which handset to subsidise and offer deals to customers, pushing products in the store, putting up marketing material in their show rooms etc.

were? I still cannot use Nokia Transit, even though almost all public transport information is available through Nokia Maps and/or Nokia City lens. It's still missing quite some information though, but the official public transport info app from 9292 is available, so no real miss there though.

Shadowzz said,
were? I still cannot use Nokia Transit, even though almost all public transport information is available through Nokia Maps and/or Nokia City lens. It's still missing quite some information though, but the official public transport info app from 9292 is available, so no real miss there though.

Who the heck are you replying to? quote the post you're replying to so then the forum knows who you're addressing!

This is great. Now, all they have to do is work on the store. App quality and availability. That will give the numbers a great boost.

Ice_Blue said,
This is great. Now, all they have to do is work on the store. App quality and availability. That will give the numbers a great boost.

It's the one thing that's keeping me from dipping my toe with Windows Phone.

Ice_Blue said
This is great. Now, all they have to do is work on the store. App quality and availability. That will give the numbers a great boost.
If I remember, I think there's over 75,000 apps for WP8? That's a good start if you ask me.

Ice_Blue said,
This is great. Now, all they have to do is work on the store. App quality and availability. That will give the numbers a great boost.

Marketshare and applications are a chicken and egg situation. With that being said I think that the fixation on apps is well over blown given that the focus should be on making sure those fundamentals on the phone are nailed down and delivering before trying to rope in third parties. For me my main concern is making sure my battery life is managed well, that the operating system is stable, reliable and secure, that the web browser is fast and renders sites properly etc. Outside of the geekdom that exists here I rarely see people have 100s of apps - it is all about the fundamentals.

SK[ said,]

It's the one thing that's keeping me from dipping my toe with Windows Phone.


Whats missing, I find I have access to the same or similar apps as I used on Android. Some stuff is even build in, and some is Nokia only. But they dont seem to be missing anything very important.
Better yet, I have a MS Office suit unlike anything on Android or iPhone.

dtourond said,
If I remember, I think there's over 75,000 apps for WP8? That's a good start if you ask me.

There are over 150,000 apps in the WP store. There are a few here and there that are missing, but there are great alternatives for some that are missing.

Of course, some people will complain that we shouldn't need alternatives, we need the real thing. When the real thing arrives on the store, then people will complain that there are no original apps on the store. When an original app is posted, then they go back to the app count. When the app count goes up, they complain about the big apps not being on the store. Repeat.

nohone said
There are over 150,000 apps in the WP store. There are a few here and there that are missing, but there are great alternatives for some that are missing.
Oh okay, maybe that was just for WP8 apps, but either way, that's a good number. I think the more the market share rises for WP, the more developers will program for it. I would think that as a developer the goal would be to be coding for as many platforms as possible so that his/her app will be used by lots of people.

nohone said
Of course, some people will complain that we shouldn't need alternatives, we need the real thing.
True. That depends on how great the alternative is or how much it resembles the real thing.

nohone said
When the real thing arrives on the store, then people will complain that there are no original apps on the store. When an original app is posted, then they go back to the app count. When the app count goes up, they complain about the big apps not being on the store. Repeat.
They can't please everyone. You can't be a huge company like Microsoft without p i s sing a couple people off.

dtourond said,
Oh okay, maybe that was just for WP8 apps, but either way, that's a good number. I think the more the market share rises for WP, the more developers will program for it. I would think that as a developer the goal would be to be coding for as many platforms as possible so that his/her app will be used by lots of people.

True. That depends on how great the alternative is or how much it resembles the real thing.

They can't please everyone. You can't be a huge company like Microsoft without p i s sing a couple people off.

BTW, I was not implying that you do the circular logic of 'not enough apps -> not the big name apps -> no exclusives -> not enough apps -> ...'

That is just the usual progression of the argument some people use to try to "prove" the WP/Win8 stores are poor.

Well... 1,50,000 is just a number to show. Microsoft has made big mess with WP7 to WP8 transit. Now WP8 is stabilizing however majority of google apps and services are missing on Windows phone and it could be quite critical for people moving from Android to Windows Phone. Never the less being and Android user I'm keeping close eye on Windows Phones. One or two of my friends owns the Nokia Lumia phone and they like the phone a lot but complain all the time of missing stuff! Very basic example when we message them in local language they cannot see it on Lumia! All they see is garbage characters! Never mind.... I'll be jumping on Windows phone when I'm convinced it is ready and I'll not miss my android.

TusharG said
Well... *150,000* is just a number to show. Microsoft has made big mess with WP7 to WP8 transit. Now WP8 is stabilizing however majority of google apps and services are missing on Windows phone and it could be quite critical for people moving from Android to Windows Phone.
That's not Microsoft's fault though. It's up to Google to code their apps for Windows Phone. Remember the fiasco that went on when Google wouldn't allow WP users to go on the mobile site for Google Maps. There's even an on-going battle between the two companies right now because Google is not letting Microsoft use the metadata they need to make a really great YouTube app for WP.

TusharG said
Never the less being and Android user I'm keeping close eye on Windows Phones. One or two of my friends owns the Nokia Lumia phone and they like the phone a lot but complain all the time of missing stuff! Very basic example when we message them in local language they cannot see it on Lumia! All they see is garbage characters! Never mind.... I'll be jumping on Windows phone when I'm convinced it is ready and I'll not miss my android.
Well I'm keeping a close eye as well because I use iOS (not an Android fan) but I can see the potential that WP has to offer. I just wish Google would stop being childish and code for WP.