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Kantar's latest data reveals sales spike in France, Australia, but shortfalls in stronghold Italy

Kantar WorldPanel has released its latest numbers for smartphone sales for the last three months ending back in January. The numbers contrast nicely with the last report that showed near universal declines in sales of Windows Phone.

The numbers, as usual, are a mixed bag of good news and not so good news for Windows Phones. Sales, in general, are up slightly as a whole across of big five European markets including Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. However, in individual countries, the story varies.

The positive spin on this story is France, which has seen a 3.5 percent point increase in Windows Phone sales over the last three-month period. Indeed a small but significant spike. This surge brought total sales percentage up to 13% in that country.

Likewise for Australia, which has seen a small surge in sales at 3.6 percentage point increase, bringing the share of sales up to 8.7%. Germany is a bit less with +2.1 percentage point increase for 8.9 percent share of smartphone sales in the last three months.

However, Italy, which has long been the leader in Windows Phone market share in Western Europe, has seen a 3.7 percentage point drop in sales. Whereas Windows Phone used to account for 16 percent of smartphone sales, it now at 13 percent.

Spain too has also seen a 3 percentage point sales drop, where Windows Phone now only accounts for 2.5% of all smartphone sales in that country.

Finally, in the US, Windows Phone sales have declined by a 0.2 percentage point, which is negligible. The current rate of 4.3% of smartphone sales in the States continues to hold, showing that Windows Phone is at least not declining. However, we have seen this story before.

Takeaway

When looking at Europe, it is as if certain markets swapped sales rates. Italy declined, but France picked up the slack. Same with Spain versus Germany.

This change in places is why when you look at the 'Big 5' European countries, Windows Phone sales grew by a miniscule 0.2 percentage point for a total of 9.6% share of smartphone sales. In other words, the pattern is the same, but individual markets have shifted.

The problem for Microsoft to solve is figuring what worked for France to increase those sales and what has cooled off the Italian market. Whether it was the release of individual Lumia models, different strategies in marketing, or something else, Redmond needs to learn what is causing the shift.

Are the overall numbers good or bad? Considering Microsoft is going through a rather big change internally with the acquisition of Nokia's mobile hardware division, and the cancelation of the fall flagship phone codenamed 'McLaren', Microsoft is doing okay. Sales are not plummeting, which is always a good sign.

Windows Phone sales are not taking off either. However, with Windows 10 in the wings and Microsoft getting their feet wet with Lumia hardware, the full might of the company in mobile is yet to be seen. An all too familiar story, unfortunately, with Microsoft.

It should be interesting to see how the recently announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL are received by consumers in the coming months. So far, reception to both phones has been very positive and they appear to be Microsoft's best shot yet at the middle market.

Assuming the market can hold out, the real story of Windows 10 on the phone won't be known until fall 2015. Something that for now feels like an eternity away.

Source: Kantar WorldPanel

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

228 Comments
  • Australia FTW!!!!
  • I wish that Australia's numbers are more growth than just a spike. I do remember in Sydney at least that the 930 and 830 were getting advertised hard leading to Christmas. I'm regretting not jumping on the HN deal for the 1520 outright + $100 gift card for $420
  • My company has just dumped WP here in Aus after 2 years and gone back to Android, main reason being a lack of reliabiality around the most used 520. I personally have had 3 in about 12 months, the buttons for off/on, camera keep failing. MS need to urgently lift the quality of the phone products, the race to the bottom is significantly hurting the brand now.
  • I hope w10 would make the sale % to boost up!
  • I hope the same too... But we have been hoping for so long :P
  • Haha yea.. Keep on hoping till the world ends xD
  • Annndddd Marketing...........
    ...........
    I like the way this article reads. It tells the exact reality of the situation, the good, and the bad, pretty accurately..
    ...........
    I just looks like WP has been stagnant for years... Better than a loss.... Actually, looking at smartphone market share, and the amount of new smartphone users every year, if WP is staying flat then it's actually gaining.
    .....
    .....
    We have to think, though... We said.....
    I know W7.0 will be huge. We have Xbox❗
    I hope W7.5 gets it done.
    I hope W8.0 gets it done.
    I hope W8.1 gets it done.
    Now, we're hoping W10 finally gets it done....
    Microsoft owes it's supporters, and it's long overdue.
  • I think one part that needs to end is people promoting the idea that we must always be waiting for the next version to enjoy anything. Was WP 8 an improvement over 7?  WAs 8.1 an improvement over 8? Etc,etc. The only reason people keep up the 'hope' mantra is due to marketshare numbers, not their own approval of the quality of the OS.  I see so many people so focused on the next version, that seem to forget that we keep getting a better experience overall with each update. Now if you feel that is not true, then that's fair enough, but this constant drum beat of waiting for the next version needs to end. Marketshare will fix itself once MS can get over the hump regarding awareness among users.  That means things like marketing, direct sales promotion at stores, better relationships with the companies that sell the phones, and a consistant stream of new hardware/updated software to keep a level of excitement for end users and developers. The thing to remember is that even if WP is not where it needs to be, it has grown in many positive ways since its launch.  WP is in a better position today regarding developer support, the app gap, third party oem hardware support, and carrier support.  Even marketshare and unit sales are higher today then the days of WP7.  No its not perfect, and no its not at a sustainable level yet.  MS has work to do to improve and Win 10 should help, but its also about their commitment to marketing and partnering with those that sell their hardware.
  • I have to say that sounds like a really inspirational thing you just wrote there.....
    ..........
    What a sad state of the platform..... I mean, look at the tone of your post... Lol.. No❗ It's not good enough..
  • It's not that Windows Phone is bad, it's beautiful. It's just that for every one Windows Phone model there are a hundred different Android Phones models out there. And there is the powerhouse that's called the iPhone. Store reps, push Android more and the iPhone is well, the iPhone ;-) If and only if Microsoft can make the experience of Windows 10 on phones really complementary to Windows 10 on PC, giving Windows 10 users a big incentive to get a Windows Phone with there next upgrade? And have store reps push this incentive? Then, and only then will Windows Phone see massive increase in marketshare in one quarter, if not? It will stay the same... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sounds good...
  • They're going to have to do more than that.  I have an iPhone 6 and an M8 for Windows sitting here in front of me.  Really, it's just ridiculous the iOS version of their apps have more functionality than their apps on their own devices.  If they're going to treat their own devices like red-headed step children I really don't see why they should ever expect anyone else to give them more credit. "They can't update OneNote because it's integrated into the OS!"  I don't really care what their excuses are.  The bottom line is, their software on other platforms have more functionality. Excuses don't fix the problems. Waiting doesn't fix problems. Pushing crap off doesn't fix problems. So, back to the iPhone and the OneNote app that can access a password protected page that works right now rather than the last quarter of later this year when WP may or may not be able to.
  • I agree 100000000000000%
  • A large part of the WP problem isn't lack of apps. It's that the apps on WP don't have versions on iOS and Android. Microsoft providing great apps to compete with things like Calendar, Chat (Skype) and Office apps on Android and iOS give WP users a chance to get apps that actually work with what our Android and iOS friends are using. If first-party apps are really awesome on WP, it won't matter if I can't do anything with them because my friends all use Google and Apple services that will never come to WP.
  • It is going to be the deciding factor, either Windows grows or remains the same (which this time around most likely means the end of it). When I say end of it, it doesn't mean Microsoft is going to go under, but rather the OS will never get the market share and/or interest of developers and consumers. In addition as this happens, people will start to leave for Android or iOS. So lets hope for some superior hardware from MS with Windows 10 features that will be hard to ignore.
  • Microsoft seriously needs to speed things up. They always announce their next big move early and they make people wait until the level of interest is inexistent. Most of the time it's not even close to be ready, but they'll tell you its coming soon, yet you'll still have months of waiting without any idea of when it might be released.
  • Agreed! I am waiting for w10 since Jan but it didn't come for all the devices.. Now Gabriel says nothing about when w10 will be available for other devices.
  • He did mention that the next build would be available for other devices but did not give specifics.
  • Seriously agree. 
  • It's hard some Androids here are cheaper than those crap Asha Series , some android phones don't even have brand names it's just a black plastic box running Android...do they count those ones? Hehe
  • I think nokia 640 and 640xl are the next 520s in the waiting. They tick every box for a customer in that price range.
  • Agreed! I am actually going to switch to 640xl from 520 :D
  • I hope they sort out thier naming blunder. In India we now have 520 525 530 532 535 all selling at the same time. Time for clean price wise series naming, not just numbering.
  • Except apps, unfortunately.
  • Aren't they going to cost a lot more than the 520 did though? Like, twice as much?
  • I think by "next 520" MRay620 meant it's going to be the best selling Lumia device, not that it's the succesor to the 520 or a perfect fit for current 520 users. That'd be the 535
  • Nice to see the rest of the world supporting this American company especially when we get treated like second class citizens... #band #Zune #Cortana #htcm8 #usonly
  • #aitvSE
  • As far as I'm concerned this is where Microsoft is making the biggest mistake. Rather than concentrate their services in areas, like Europe, where there is actual interest they insist on pushing in the U.S. market where they are making no grounds. They could do so much more to push handsets in Europe that don't have carrier exclusivity, they should be pushing Cortana updates in these areas etc. If they concentrated their efforts where the interest is they could gain more global market share than IOS. Eventually people in the US will have to take notice that there is global interest and start to take WP seriously. Developers develop for market share and that doesn't mean it needs to be U.S. specific.
  • +920
  • Totally agree with this and have successfully used this strategy myself when coming in late to other market sectors. The trouble is MS has never been in this position and they are too blinkered, arrogant and US-centric too understand this approach.
  • The question you should ask yourself is..how many are this 9 % in Europe and 4% in us
  • The EU5 group has a slightly bigger population than the US, at around 320,000,000; the whole EU population is half a billion. And I am pretty sure that smartphone penetration is comparable in both American and European markets.
  • Very perceptive....now for the answer...
  • I did the maths once and worked out it's twice as many. It's in the forums somewhere. I added up the populations of EU5 vs US. 
  • MS should give all their old Nokia 4xx, 5xx, 6xx series away for free.  Write it off like the Surface 1 and 2 fiasco.  This would increase their AdDuplex numbers and boost interest in upgrading to the new 600 and 900+ series.
  • It was Elop who thought that the US market was important. Nokia had abou 3% market share with their Symbian phones in the US 2010. (Same as now) On my 2010 Nokia N8 I could Swype in Swedish, my first language, but I can not use the equivalent , swiping,on my Lumia 830 because it does not "know" Swedish. ​The Swedish speaking Siri is coming to Swedish iPhones with the next update . . . ​WP is too little and way too late! ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Yeah it's funny that isn't it.
  • These two phones come in at the same price range of the L620/625 when they were announced except spec wise (with regards to their time period) these two devices are fantastic whereas the 620 and 625 were meh.
  • Great..but market share of windowsphone in India..?
  • Not reported.
  • A well written article, good job.
  • 3% - 4% :)
  • No... It will be more than that for sure :-)
  • May be 10%..!
  • It's not even in the top five phone manufacturers. Samsung> micromax> lava> intex> xiaomi
  • Market share. And the reason for them being at the top, the price.
  • Competition in America is hard, but chances will come only with next flagship. I think 2015 is going to be a great year for Windows in general.
  • Microsoft/Lumia flagships don't sell well, have you just been born?
  • There hasn't been a Microsoft/Lumia flagship yet.
  • I meant WP flagships
  • Carriers don't advertise WP flagships most of the time, which is why they don't sell. Prosepective customers aren't going to buy what they don't know exists.
  • Hmm.. Well, everybody make sure you continue to spread the good Windows word! I'll start writing the Holy Windows Bible!
  • Better have a WP with that blue/black/white/gold/shit/crap colour, like that dress :O
  • Don't forget the part where we collect tithes...
  • Lets start with the Windows 10 Commandments..
  • I think in Netherlands also an increase, as I see more and more people with Lumias. And the Lumia 535 second best sold smartphone at the moment!
  • Well my professor uses a Lumia and surface. But I almost see no ppl with a Lumia.
  • Windows 10 will save everything!!! /s
  • I very much doubt that, but I guess we'll see in a year.  
  • I guess all those budget phones are not helping market share after all
  • Well if a flagship comes,out we'll know for sure xd.
  • we wont know it we're already dead when the next flagship comes out xD
  • Haha maybe also we don't what did it if market share goes up. Wp10 or new flagship.
  • So you guys think a flagship WP phone shall out sell low end lumias!! For how long have you been on Earth?
  • Yes it will, in some markets. See 920.
  • Yes it will in some markets. I personally wont buy a phone unless it is a high end phone. Must have the latest and greatest specs. Thats just me and I am far from being the only one.
  • We used to be able to say that WP was the fastest growing phone OS, and it felt good to be able to say that. I hope it starts to grow quickly again in the future.
  • Ow yea xd wp up 186% haha
  • Yet they are the ones enjoying cortana the most, first to get everything.
  • Lack of flagship which can compete with Galaxy and iPhone is major reason for low market share.
  • Ehm weren't the flagships' amongst the weakest selling Lumia's in comparison to the budget ones?
  • Most so called 'flagships' were not really flagships, each was screwed in some way, Lumia 1020 had year old hardware, no microSD, and only redeemed by the camera, 1520 is a phablet not for everyone, 930 - no glance; etc... all people are seeing are compromises and tradeoffs, no true flagship device to compete with Android flagships. p.s. the htc M8 was full of compromises also, no hardware buttons, no camera key, 4mp main camera...  
  • Well first of all who decides what a flagship is? And is glance a flagship feature? Since the budget phone's have it. I agree with most you're saying but what are the parameters for a flagship?
  • Flagship is a phone that inovates in something. Xperia z was flaghip cause water resistance, Lumia 1020 cause of the camera, LG cause of 4k display of the bending. The rest are just phones with latest hardware in them (sorry if I forgot some names )
  • See the Galaxy S6. A disappointment compared to previous models, in the fact that no microSD card support and non-removable battery. But people will still buy it. 930 isn't too bad after all.
  • I agree.
  • What is windows phone market share in India
  • I can certainly say I have seen a lot of people using Lumia now than 3 months ago in India. Although some people hate it like they have not been able to have any food because of Windows Phone. But then those people have no idea what a software is and what Windows Phone is...
  • I'm guessing 10-15 or even higher. iOS is close to 5 or lesser.
  • Yup, seeing more and more Windows Phones around me in Paris, and most important French companies and services have their app on the platform.
  • Microsoft should put more effort , what I mean is TV commercial. There's alot of people still didn't know WP OS.. In their eyes were always Galaxy , IPhone , Galaxy Note , IPad , IPad mini , S Tab . Samsung Apple Samsung Apple blahblahblah... Lol.
  • Advertising sells, even if ur product is crap... Just convince people that your product will guarantee them eternal life and they will fall for it. Ms needs to do more in terms of advertising WP or else this beautiful Os will remain to ironically 'lag' behind
  • Since people easily blinded by media..
  • Rodneyej... Your turn here :-P
  • Rodney got upset with you not supporting his efforts :) He probably went Android..
  • :-D he might even go to iPhone but not Android... He dislikes Microsoft's marketing but hates Google's marketing ;-)
  • I only saw it for a second, but I'm pretty sure the contestants on the Amazing Race were taking selfies with Lumias last week. My wife said she didn't remember seeing a Lumia commercial during the show though. Seems like that might have been smart.
  • Windows 8 was a move towards a unified OS, testing what people wanted, and it showed with its disparate appearance, like incomplete control panel, etc. Now they've worked out what people want, they are going to go full speed ahead with windows 10, giving it a massive and continuous advertising boost :)
  • I hate that green shit. :3
  • I believe in France it is more common to buy phones outright rather than signing a contract or making a payment plan with the carrier. With all these low-cost Lumias to choose from, it could explain the increase. Here in the U.S., the lack of a recent high end model has hurt as most people who have a carrier like AT&T or Verizon are comfortable signing a contract or making payments on the phone so a minor increase in the monthly fee is not a big deal. However, they are also, unfortunately, more comfortable with established phones like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
  • Ummm proper marketing anyone?? Surely its not rocket science right?
  • Rocket science is easy compared to marketing since you are dealing in absolutes, like laws of gravity. Marketing, on the other hand, is dependent on culture, timing, personal taste and other arbitrary obstacles. The human mind is a PITA to work with, in other words. It would be nice if marketing was a simple as rocket science ;)
  • It's a grey area for sure. And depends so much on varying factors.
  • Lol.. But jokes aside the Microsoft marketing team needs a kick on the back side
  • Lol^ today Daniel set his difficulty level on pro mode.. :D (;
  • Windows 10 to move the sales above 10%... May be next year or the year next to that, Microsoft might be close to Apple's share at all these places if all goes well
  • wont happen ... 
  • It just needed 5% in most of these places to be closer to Apple's share... I think it can happen :-)
  • Yes but the total number is still much and much lower. Apple out sold Lumia by a huge margin. In fact they only needed 3 months to sell more iPhones then wp has sold in it's lifetime. So imho the 2 are not even close, unfortunately.
  • There is no comparison of Windows Phone and iPhone in US. I am just talking about these Big 5 European countries. If we take out US and China from Apple's market, I am sure Windows Phone can catch up to iOS quick. But those two markets are completely another story. I don't see a near future of Microsoft reaching second place in the smartphone market.
  • 5% is a huge number to achieve ... may be it will happen in 10-15 yrs ... with this horrible OS its tough
  • It is horrible in your opinion :-) in my opinion, a horrible OS is sitting as a king in all the markets... They achieved near 10% in 4 years. I don't think it will take 10+ years to reach 15%. Only time will tell.
  • This is what people have been saying for years, first with WP8, then WP8.1, now WP10, and the situation is still the same and getting worse with no flagship phones released since MS bought Nokia, updates being derailed more and more by carriers and MS not doing anything about it, even hiding the carrier incompetance by removing update status from their website.    
  • I don't see a brighter future for MS in US any time soon. But other parts of the world? They can catch up with Apple fast. Android is the king there. Second place can be taken up quick and make Android's dominance a little less. Again it depends on Windows 10(as a whole) success.
  • @spazinvader ow I agree but ms should realize this and focus more