Windows Phone reaches highest penetration of 8.2pc so far across five European markets

2 Sep 2013

Windows Phone has posted its highest ever level of 8.2pc across the five major European markets – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – according to the latest smartphone data from Kantar Worldpanel Com Tech. Android now accounts for 70pc of smartphone sales in Europe and China during the last few months.

“Android and Apple take the lion’s share of the headlines and continue to dominate smartphone sales, so it’s easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Windows Phone, driven largely by lower-priced Nokia smartphones, such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico. For the first time the platform has claimed the No 2 spot in a major world market, taking 11.6pc of sales in Mexico.”

Future Human

According to Kantar Worldpanel, Windows Phone’s growth isn’t coming from stealing Apple or Android customers.

Only 27pc of Apple and Android users change their OS when they replace their handset, and those that do switch tend to move between the two big operating systems.

“Windows Phone’s success has been in convincing first-time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices, with 42pc of sales over the past year coming from existing feature-phone owners. 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.

“Feature-phone owners present a huge opportunity, representing more than half of all mobile users globally and this will be the new battleground over the next year. With the iPhone 4 and lower-end or older Samsung Galaxy models selling well among first-time smartphone owners, there is plenty of competition for these customers. The brands that win in this segment will be those that understand and address the needs of consumers in terms of price, content, and quality.”

Android and Apple continue to dominate global smartphone sales

Globally, Apple and Android continue to dominate sales, but there are interesting regional patterns emerging. Android is far stronger across the major European markets and China, where it accounted for around 70pc of smartphone sales during the past quarter.

Apple continues to perform very well in the US, where it has grown its share to 43.4pc of sales. It is also continuing to show strong year-on-year growth in Britain, France and Mexico. Sunnebo explains: “Apple and Android must focus on a balance between retaining existing customers and attracting feature-phone owners to trade up if they want to continue their success over the next year.”

Following a difficult year, BlackBerry now accounts for just 2.4pc of sales across the big five European markets and 1.2pc in the United States.

Smartphone penetration in the UK stands at 66pc in July, with 85pc of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years