Windows Phone still going strong in UK; 1 in 5 customers switched from Android

Windows Phone seems to be on the up and up lately. According to earlier reports Microsoft's mobile market share had increased significantly by the end of 2012 and that trend seems to still be going on.

According to the latest info from Kantar WorldPanel, Windows Phone is still seeing significant growth in the UK. As with earlier reports, this data shows that Microsoft is making inroads in Europe and other parts of the world but still lagging behind when it comes to the US. Kantar's data shows that in the last three months of last year Windows Phone reached a 6% marketshare in the UK, up considerably from 2.4% at the end of 2011.

iOS and Android are still dominating the UK market  with Apple accounting for 30.6% of smartphone sales while Android, dominated by Samsung, took the lion's share with 56.2%. However Windows Phone has become the obvious 3rd player in this game and they seem to be going strong. Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, explains:

Nokia is spearheading this growth, with the Lumia 800 the leader among the Windows handsets. However, it is not the only manufacturer benefiting from the increasing popularity of Windows. HTC’s 8X is now the third bestselling Windows device in Great Britain, demonstrating the clear cross-manufacturer opportunity of the platform.

Kantar's data also shows something surprising and encouraging for the Windows Phone ecosystem. 30% of Microsoft's new customers were actually poached from other operating systems including 17% percent from Android and 6% from BlackBerry. Sunnebo further explains:

Understanding the source of growth for the Windows platform is crucial to devise and implement the right marketing and sales strategy. The fact that nearly one in five new customers switched from an Android device should give Microsoft, and its partners, confidence that its OS has what it takes to bring the fight to more established platforms. As almost 30% of its customers switch from rival OS’s, the worry that Microsoft will have to rely on attracting the dwindling pool of first time smartphone buyers to drive future growth is reduced.  

Source: Kantar via ZDNet

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I plan to join those and push WP8 higher in the market, but their problem is the availability of phones.
The 920 still isn't available sim free from Amazon, which I trust to have the proper UK 4G version. I realise other sites, clove.com, expansys have the phones but no blue version and I am dubious as whether it's an official UK version, rather than a grey import. Even brick and mortar shops won't sell it sim free.

Plus what makes it worse is because of the exclusive 4G deal with EE, I read that there are two versions of the 920 in the UK, one which is 4G enabled and one which isn't. I don't expect 4G to come to my carrier any time soon but I'd prefer to have 4G enabled phone for when it does. Might be wrong though.

If it helps, I bought my 920 from clove. It came with a UK power adapter and is running a UK build of WP. It's definitely not a grey import. It's also compatible with all UK 4G bands (a simple spec check can confirm that). There's nothing special about the 920 that EE sells - it uses the same frequencies as all other GSM 920s but is locked to EE.

If I was you I wouldn't wait for Amazon but be aware that you're unlikely to be able to get a blue 920 in the UK as it was only released as an ATT exclusive in the US and doesn't support UK 3G/4G bands.

Buy your phone mail-order from Hong Kong. I always do. Great discounts and reliable vendors. And no tax. HK uses UK power plugs so they work out of the box in UK. I've never been disappointed.

Sadly as jakem1 says, the cyan 920 is not available for us. A really sad fact if I'm honest as the red & yellow just look horrible, leaving black & white....Might as well just not have the colour range -_-.

Don't worry too much about 4G in my opinion. I'm loving the crazy speeds you get, but the cost to get enough data allowance is pretty prohibitive. I have 1 Gig, which has resulted in 2/4 months that I've ran out of data.

Some years ago when I owned the HTC Mozart and then the Radar, I was the stick in the mud for owning a WP device in the UK. These days the Lumia is everywhere - especially since the 800 went dead cheap.

Will be more interesting to see if they stay with WP though. I went from iPhone to HTC Desire -Android (Gingerbread). I was half way though my contract but went back to iPhone as I didn't like the lack of Apps (although that's changed a lot since).
I want to try WP but the lack of App support makes me think I will end up coming back to iOS. The OS and build quality of Nokia's does interest me though.

]SK[ said,
I didn't like the lack of Apps (although that's changed a lot since).
I want to try WP but the lack of App support makes me think I will end up coming back to iOS.

What are your "can't live without" apps that keep drawing you back to iOS?

With the arrival of Blue over the next year you'll be able to run the vast library of Windows apps on your phone. By comparison the app libraries forAndroid and iOS will be miniscule. Then what?

Major Plonquer said,
With the arrival of Blue over the next year you'll be able to run the vast library of Windows apps on your phone. By comparison the app libraries forAndroid and iOS will be miniscule. Then what?

Then perhaps he'll switch at that point in time and enjoy the benefit of a newer phone. What exactly is your point as it relates to his comment about the app selection in the present?

I think the app situation is pretty good at the moment. The only thing I'm missing from my iPhone (/Android tablet) is logmein ignition. Spotify was missing for a while but it's available now

While I was an avid defender of the screen size with my iPhone 4, the 4.5" on my Lumia 920 blows it out of the water for usability, and I don't think the 4" on the 5 is enough.

I'm not too worried about the future of the app selection either with stories like this going up. Most developers reason for not making a WP8 app is just that it's market share is too small, which looks to be changing!

One other thing - While I'm not a massive fan of Windows 8 (Omg the supercratebox crashes suck) I do love that the UI & styling is so similar across my devices now!

TechieXP said,
How come the UK loves Windows Phone so much is what I'd liek to know.

Because historically in the UK people have better education and access to information that the stupid American masses simply do not care about.
The mobile market in the UK is much better imo than what we have here in North America.
With long contracted, subsidized phones being the norm, most North American consumers are sheep, beholden to whatever device the salesperson is told to flog that day.
In the UK, people pay more for there phones, and thus educate themselves accordingly.
Educated consumers exhibit much different buying habits. This is just one example.

Although many contracts are 24 months in the UK.

I personally buy my phone outright so I can choose what contract I want. I'd rather pay more now but less overall than less now but more over the 24 life contract.

windows phone picking up steam. All of this spearheaded by the Lumia 800. Guess what the 620,520 and 720 gonna do?

Current stats

In Germany, windows phone went from %2.4 in December 2012 to %5.1 in January 2013

In UK theyre up to %6

In Italy %14

France %5.7

In Russia %6

In U.S, from last month , Windows Phone is now %3.2 from around %2.6, outselling blackberry 3x.

You know, when writing percentages, people usually put the % sign after the number, for example 2.4% / 5.1% / 6% - as that is how you would say it... six percent, five point one percent....

While I do find it far more readable as 2.4% for example, 'how you would say it' is a really bad point.

If you wonder why I said that, feel free to start writing currency signs after the number

matt4pack said,
It seems like neowin has pretty much just become a windows phone fan site. Almost every story now.

Because WP is a hot topic. When Android, Apple, Samsung...are hot topics, they are plastered all over as well.

techbeck said,

Because WP is a hot topic. When Android, Apple, Samsung...are hot topics, they are plastered all over as well.


Outside that it _is_ neowin. Windows Phone.

LegendaryRamzi said,
If you work in IT this should not have come as a suprise.

I'm working in IT and i don't see why it should or should not be a surprise.

SCOOBY_666UK said,
That's where Windows 'Blue' comes in - set for a mid-2013 release.

Source please? The latest rumors I read about, here on Neowin, said that Blue for WP8 was delayed to 2014..... plus OEM and carriers "testing"...

It's certainly a more pleasant experience, the whole design of WP8 is a lot nicer. It's hilariously unstable though, which some might be bothered by (I'm not, so long as it's fixable!)

Can't wait for the windows blue updates! Although as Fritzly says, it's looking more like early 2014 for the windows phone version, and late 2013 for the desktop.

I used android for approx 2 year (Motorola Atrix). I recently switched to the Lumina 920 and I don't miss android one bit. Yes the selection of phones is much more limited but WP8 is well worth it. IMO

russianmonk said,
I used android for approx 2 year (Motorola Atrix). I recently switched to the Lumina 920 and I don't miss android one bit.

The Lumia 920 is easily one of the top handsets but I don't want a phone with an embedded battery. If it wasn't for that I'd probably get it in a flash.

Microsoft is simply not doing enough IMO. Nokia is doing its part signing up exclusives for its phones. MS has to push developers more to produce app for its platforms. What ever happened to the 46/50 apps Belfiore promised? Same thing on the Windows 8 front too. Even official Facebook, Twitter apps are nonexistent for the platform. Need a fact check on how serious Microsoft is about its mobile business

What are your reasons for not wanting a phone with an embedded battery? Just curious.

theyarecomingforyou said,

The Lumia 920 is easily one of the top handsets but I don't want a phone with an embedded battery. If it wasn't for that I'd probably get it in a flash.

I haven't really heard much about the beginning stuff you were talking about so I can't comment on that. But I have noticed that most of the apps seem to be done by Microsoft like you mentioned instead of the actual companies responsible for the service.

gawicks said,
Microsoft is simply not doing enough IMO. Nokia is doing its part signing up exclusives for its phones. MS has to push developers more to produce app for its platforms. What ever happened to the 46/50 apps Belfiore promised? Same thing on the Windows 8 front too. Even official Facebook, Twitter apps are nonexistent for the platform. Need a fact check on how serious Microsoft is about its mobile business

russianmonk said,
What are your reasons for not wanting a phone with an embedded battery? Just curious.

I like to carry around spare batteries in case I can't get to a charging point and I usually buy extra-capacity batteries so they last longer. I also like being able to take the battery out when I go to the cinema, just so that I know my phone can't accidentally turn on. It's just personal preference.

Why don't you just carry an external battery pack like everyone else? They're far better than batteries as they've been designed specifically for this purpose. Far safer than batteries too. Batteries have exposed connectors and some airlines here in Asia won't allow them on board anymore.

Major Plonquer said,
Why don't you just carry an external battery pack like everyone else? They're far better than batteries as they've been designed specifically for this purpose. Far safer than batteries too. Batteries have exposed connectors and some airlines here in Asia won't allow them on board anymore.

For the other reasons listed. I like to use third-party higher capacity batteries and I like to be able to take out the battery to know my phone won't accidentally turn on. Also, external battery packs are more bulky than simply carrying around a spare.

The point is the Lumia 920 and others are decent phones but I'm not interested if they have an embedded battery. There are plenty of Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy range, that don't have that limitation.

ChristopherSmith said,
I love having embedded batteries in phones. It used to **** me off so much having battery covers/batteries fall off all the time =D

Older phones used to do that; it doesn't happen with most modern phones.

*Thinks back to 2 days ago when girlfriend dropped her phone* Nope I'd say modern ones can have that problem too

It's more just that I never have a problem with power, I just thought that made a slightly more amusing response =P It's more important in my mind that phone's are micro-usb charged than anything else, as that means that if I'm worried about power, I can top it up just about anywhere =)

Still wish they would release actually numbers. Means nothing really until they do. And it also depends on who does the survey as well. Good that MS is getting some growth...but still, I would like to see actual numbers as well.

It only matters for statf@gs. For me what matters is that I'm satisfied with my phone. ME. Not others, me. Why are you so eager to know others' opinion? Don't you have your own?

bviktor said,
It only matters for statf@gs. For me what matters is that I'm satisfied with my phone. ME. Not others, me. Why are you so eager to know others' opinion? Don't you have your own?

Not looking for opinions...looking for real numbers instead of a percentage of an unknown figure. Like WP8 units sold.

techbeck said,

Not looking for opinions...looking for real numbers instead of a percentage of an unknown figure. Like WP8 units sold.

it is a known figure. there are 23 million smartphone users in the UK. do the math.

techbeck said,

Not looking for opinions...looking for real numbers instead of a percentage of an unknown figure. Like WP8 units sold.

So then, what? What do you do with the numbers?

bviktor said,

So then, what? What do you do with the numbers?

It is called human curiosity. I do not need to do anything with the numbers.