Windows Phone market boosted by feature phone converts

Windows Phone has enjoyed a significant boost compared to recent months, reaching record market share of 8.2 percent across five top EU markets, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

Android market share dipped a little in some key EU markets, however, Android devices still held the lion’s share, followed by iOS, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In the UK, Android share dipped slightly by 3.8 percent. iOS gained 7.8 percent of share, while Windows Phone gained 5.0 percentage points. This put Windows Phone just shy of a tenth of the British market, more than doubling to 9.2 percent from 4.2 percent in July 2012.

Of the new Windows Phone customers, 42 percent were making the leap from the feature phone – the classic mobile model before the touch-screen smartphone boom.

Despite some slight dips in market share that seem to be offset by gains from other manufacturers, Android performed exceptionally well across the European and China markets, making up roughly 70 percent of all smartphone sales for the past quarter.

iOS performed better in the States with 43.4 percent of all sales. Similarly, there was decent growth in Britain, France and Mexico.

Poor old Blackberry accounted for just 2.4 percent of sales across the big five EU markets, and 1.2 percent in the United States.

Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo said it’s “easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary”.

“Windows Phone, driven largely by lower priced Nokia smartphone such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico,” Sunnebo said.

“Windows Phone’s success has been in convincing first time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices, with 42 percent of sales over the past year coming from existing feature phone owners,” he said. “This is a much higher proportion than Android and iOS. The Lumia 520 is hitting a sweet spot, offering the price and quality that new smartphone buyers are looking for”.

At the same time, it’s worth noting the large amount of people who already have smartphones are locked in to their chosen OS – and for many, it’s not worth losing content by jumping brands.

Microsoft and Nokia have chucked heaps of cash at marketing the rather nice looking Lumia range, but have so far struggled to match the amount of apps – or, indeed, device options – of rivals.