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Windows Phone continues to show slow (but steady) sales growth in Europe at 9.2%

Kantar Worldpanel has released their latest smartphone sales numbers for the month August 2014. The report mostly focuses on the continued growth of the iPhone, especially the 5C in the UK, but the Windows Phone numbers are still thought provoking as well.

Kantar juxtaposes the numbers for August 2014 with the ones from August 2013, giving a sense of where things are going. In some cases, Windows Phone sees a decrease e.g. in Germany (6.9 percent, a -1.6 percent change) and France (9.9 percent, a -0.1 percent change). However, in comparing the Kantar sales data from last month, Germany increased slightly (0.8 percent), as did France (1.2 percent).

Looking at the bigger picture, Windows Phone has 9.2 percent sales across the European big five (UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain). These numbers compare favorably to one year ago when it was just 8.5 percent (0.7 percent change). Likewise, comparing it to last month's sales, which was also just 8.5 percent and we can see continue, albeit weak growth for Microsoft.

United States approaching 5% for Windows Phone

In the US, the picture remains the same. For August 2014, Kantar reports a 4.7 percent sales rate, increasing by 0.8 percent from 2013. Likewise for July's numbers, which had Windows Phone pegged at 3.9 percent, giving Microsoft a slight 0.8 percent bump from last month.

Analysis

The good news for Microsoft and the Windows Phone ecosystem is that sales are rebounding slightly across all the major markets from last month's sales numbers, save China and Australia, which saw slight declines. The results are similar for year-over-year, where numbers are up slightly.

The bad news should be obvious. While these gains are positive, and the hemorrhaging has evidently stopped, Microsoft is only holding steady while the iPhone and Android go back and forth for new customers. There is still no explosive growth across the board, although Microsoft is having success in Italy, which saw 14.4 percent sales in August 2014, up 3.7 percent year-over-year.

The numbers still show that Windows Phone has yet to hit any critical mass. Alternatively, we are at least not seeing a steady shift in downward sales, akin to BlackBerry. In other words, despite the cold reception by Western media to Windows Phone in reviews and coverage, the OS is still growing in the face of considerable opposition. Things are far from bleak.

In the end though, those Windows Phone numbers need to start going up significantly. With the iPhone 6 dominating headlines lately September's number are not likely to be pretty for Redmond, despite the recent push for the HTC One for Windows and Lumia 635.

Microsoft is certainly in an odd state right now. Their rumored flagship phone codenamed 'McLaren' was set to shake things up in mobile with its 3D Touch system, but much like the Surface Mini, it was cancelled at the last minute. As a result, Microsoft does not have a big Windows Phone flagship story to sell to the media. Instead, the HTC One for Windows is their Plan B, although this has yet to materialize on other carriers besides Verizon.

Bits like Lumia Cyan and Cortana are keeping Microsoft in the news, but their real story is with Windows 10, which seeks to unify the Windows OS across the desktop, tablets, servers and phones. The flipside to this looming threat to Microsoft's competition is that Windows 10 does not ship until mid-2015, which is an eternity in the tech world.

For the next few months, the best Microsoft can hope for is continued slow growth and a holding on to sales before their big unification achievement. Facing Apple's latest hardware, as well as the always-aggressive Samsung, is going to be difficult, especially in the US. White-label phones from BLU, Cherry Mobile, and XOLO may continue to help them in emerging markets, though it remains to be seen what impact, if any, they will have for market share.

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.

373 Comments
  • Such a shame. Been four years.
  • What could you expect?
    MS always screw things up...
    I mean they're really slow!
    Hope W10 will shake things up a bit...
  • We hoped that with Mango, Tango, Apollo/Blue.
    "Hoping™ since 2010" - © All WP users since 2010.
  • Hey, don't diss Mango! :P lol
  • A bit at least...
  • Well 730/830 has hit the shelves in many countries nd is currently doing later when the report comes we will see a significant rise in WP share since market for budget friendly is more than flagship devices (e.g 520) plus hope so that McLaren may be killed from headlines but development is still dere fingers crossed ✌
  • I am looking forward to the 830, but if the U.S. price is anything above $300 (off the MS Store), then I'm not buying. The Nexus 5 is $299 and spec wise is a much better phone across the board, less the camera. The Nokia 635, at $99 on the MS store, is a great phone. As such, the 830 is not worth anything more than 3x the 635. It's just not. MS made a huge mistake by branding it an affordable flagship. Rather, it should have been dubbed a high-end affordable phone and ignored the flagship moniker. @ 1 GB of RAM and a very mid-range processor, it's no where near a flagship, affordable or otherwise.
  • The Camera on the nexus 5 isn't nearly as good as the 830 or maybe even the 730. Also, android requires much higher specs to run smooth, opposed to Windows Phone.
  • High end androids are faster than high end WPs.  No joke.  Look at comparisons on YouTube. HTC One windows 's m8 Android.  Lumia 930 's nexus 5. Android is faster with the right specs.  Moto G 's Lumia 630.
  • That is not true. All the tests between HTC One Windows vs. HTC One Android shows the former outperforming the latter, particularly on battery life. Android has always been a poorly coded junk OS--it's gotten better, but it's still crap.
  • Benchmarks don't mean the phone performs just as fast in real life.  Check a real life test.  The Android phone is actually faster while the HTC for windows is always resuming................. 
  • My family has compared them in real life. The Windows Phone version runs circles around the Android version, especially in battery life.
  • i dont get your comment, my 930 8.1 windows phone is buttersmoothm and super fast, my android phone is alot slower and chuncky, my iphone is at the same smoothness and speed of my 930 so iphone 6 vs 930 interesting and most android phones not all of them, from my opinion, forget it not worth comparing, it just isnt.
  • I'm pretty sure that I already said that about the camera. Lowering the specs because your OS requires about 10-15% less resourses than the dominant smartphone OS is no reason to overcharge people. Again, $0.01 more than $300 is too much. Jesus, they say that the new iPhone 6 only costs about $211 to $230 to make, so the 830 has to be no more than $150. I'd say 100% profit is more than enough.
  • When you can get a top spec Android phone for $300-$400 or the best budget phone for $180, the spec argument becomes moot.
  • I picked up my orange nokia 830 yesterday for about £300 witch is roughly about $480 converted yikes bound to be alot less surely
  • Here, my country, all smartphones priced like they are priced in the global market. Except Nexus lines. When Nexus 4 launched last year, it was priced at IDR 5M, approx USD 500 using that time's rate. USD 200 bump is definitely not a tax bump since other phones didn't have that kind of bump. The only logical thinking is Nexus prices in US is either Google is subsidize US market OR Google treat US residence with special pricing.
  • Then you're not buying it because it's going to cost $450
  • LOL @ rockstarzzz!!!
  • I've been happy with WP since Mango and don't care if the market share grows or not, as long as I keep getting sweet devices every 2 years. If I don't see a successor to the 1020 by this time next year I will be disappointed, but for now I'm happy.
  • You are more patient that most.  If I don't see Lumia 1030 by early Spring next year, I would be deeply disappointed.
  • Exactly that! I couldn't care less about market share as long as the apps would be present and new devices would show up in shelves. The problem is it isn't happening...
  • How will apps will be present if developers think it's useless to make app when only small amout of users use it. Effort vs income always become developer's factor when deciding to support minority platforms. Specially platform that need to rewrite the codes all over again. Unless if the code itself is already HTML5 based. So, marketshare always important for everyone, albeit indirectly.
  • It is almost on par with iOS in most other countries and I don't see devs giving up on Apple.  On top of that if (big if) Windowes 10 codes the same across devices, MS will probably have more apps available then either of them in a VERY short amount of time.  Especially when legacy business/healthcare/education applications upgrade to newer vesions by their respective publishers/developers.  My fear is that the app store will be so damn crowded in 3 years time it will be painfully hard to just scroll through new apps available.....
  • exactly, every version of WP ( combined with MS strategy) dissapoints and we hope that next version will do it.
  • That will change with windows 10 if everything goes how I see it going and Microsoft gets alot of windows 7 and XP to upgrade to windows 10 then the combine the store and os into one well guess what that just made windows 10 the number 1 in PC market share and number 2 in mobile market share almost overnight now give developers the ability to write one code and use it on all devices is a storm no developer will be able to turn down not even google themselves
  • Well OS feature party has only happened with 8.1. Don't forget even basic features like separate volume control were missing. I can't imagine going back to old IE anymore. Think about it. I think people tried WP 8.0/7.x and then were left thinking its not a mature OS and they were right. Apps didn't help either. MS has its work cut out for it going forward.
  • Good analysis on where the OS stands right now. Perceived immaturity hurts sales. And lack of apps... BlackBerry was in the same position when BlackBerry 10.0 launched, 10.2.1 made it usable (~Win 8.1), now with the unique new flagship and 10.3 with improved Android app runtime and Amazon Appstore preloaded, this version is where it's at... For Windows Phone I hope, 10 will be so good that we see some shift in the mobile landscape, competition is good for us consumers... iOS has the opposite problem, it's mature to the point of being over-ripe. Apple is (as admitted by Steve Jobs) in the innovator's dilemma, needs new ideas to continue to be perceived as innovative... Android is like Windows on the PC, the de-facto standard or the one with the biggest market share. I'm all for a more varied mobile landscape. The survival of BlackBerry and Windows Phone as valid mobile OS choices certainly help... Just an opinion... :-) Posted via the WPC App for Android from BlackBerry Z10!
  • It's so funny to see ms fans hope for something hard to come by on the mobile. I mean you all know why it doesn't pick up in market share.
  • I am a MS fan but I am not stupid I know we are the little dog in mobile right now but if history has taught me anything and if you pay attention to the past you should know MS has a way of sticking with something even if losing money and MS keep going and going and going until it succeeds yes WP hasn't had the spectacular growth android had when it first came out but lets face it its a different mobile arena today then it was then and yes MS was late to the game but what alot of people don't realize is MS dont have to be number 1 market share wise of even 2 when people think of mobile and Microsoft they think WP but people don't realize MS gots there hands on almost every aspect of mobile hell they make over 2 billion a year on android and OS they don't even own they provide apple and IOS with search and power Siri just like they do with Cortana and when windows 10 comes out they will finally unify there OS across device with screens of all sizes with one store if yall cant understand what the implications of this is you just can't read between the lines can you
  • Dude, first of all I have a hard time reading your sentence since you didn't put any punctuations. Second, I'm talking about market share. You're telling me about being Microsoft being successful in its own way on mobile. That's two completely different things.
  • You ever think there might be a reason MS has released a flagship yet. Maybe and this is just a guess. But I think I am right. That there next flagship phone will introduce the world to windows 10. I mean kinda makes since given that its almost 2015. And that's when windows 10 is supposed to be released oh and by the they way HTC one is and excellent flagship WP phone. Just like it was for android. Oh and dont worry about market share once MS combines the os they will also have a combined market share and universal apps so every developer working on windows 10 will have apps on phone tablet and PC so I think we will see windows phone maketshare go up even though it will just be windows 10 it will bring with it the leverage of MS's PC market share to pump apps into the phone. Read between the lines and look at the big picture the next ten years not the next few months that's what Microsoft is doing looking long term
  • You do make a point about the unification of mobile and desktop with windows 10. Ultimately, the question is will windows 10 allow windows phones to gain a larger share of mobile? That will depend on whether users are relatively satisfied as opposed to other OS. As of now, my opinion for windows 10 is reserved since it hasn't come out. It is good to be hopeful. But it is also good to be a realist at the same time. You don't want to sound like you're protecting something that doesn't have a really great idea.
  • Windows 10 will automatically increases windows phone market share cuz after windows 10 there will be only one is between all forum factors phones included so one is one market share no matter for phone tablet and PC
  • You sure are hopeful for something that IDC and Gartner wouldn't be quick to jump on board. You may see the market as one after windows 10, but people still see mobile as mobile and desktop as desktop. What makes sense in the statistics is what is comparable, not what is defined by corporations. The stats won't make sense if I compare Android and Ios devices with Windows 10 PCs (they are apples and oranges). It makes sense if I compare Android and Ios devices with Windows 10 Mobile devices, How about we combine all the linux devices in the world, all the mac devices in the world, and all the windows devices in the world. Mac will have the smallest share, followed by windows, then linux (since linux is literally in all embedded devices and servers). Does that make sense as a mobile comparison?
  • It would if Io and moc os were being unifided but there not neither is Linux but there are android phone tablet PC and even game consoles and watches using android and when they add up market share for android they count the phone tablets pcs and game console watches to give android as a whole a market share so if they do that for android what would be so diffent about doing that for windows 10 nothing the same oh yeah they also count in ipdas and ipods with iPhone for IOS market share so there you go it don't matter what windows runs on people are just going to see the members not rather it mobile or not
  • Android tablet pcs are tablets that run a mobile os. They aren't desktop replacements.
  • It don't matter it still counts towards androids market share that's my point eventhoufh a majority of windows 10 users will be PC users it will still increase market share for windows 10 across the board just like android tablet and pcs and watches increase there market share add in universal apps and its a win win for developers
  • Android tablets are replacements for android phones. That's why statisticians count them into the same market share. Windows phones aren't replacements for windows PCs. That's why statisticians don't count them into the same market share.
  • As a Android user I would say that Windows phone is evolving at a good pace in the app store anyway but the requirement for me to switch if I was going to is... Is there tune in radio Posted from my Samsung galaxy S5
  • Yes there is.
  • W10 is for the long term.  I just want to see them to push their phones more aggressively to all carriers everywhere.  It is a pity that we still see L930 in US except Verizon.
  • Microsoft is its own worst enemy. The commenters on these message boards have been telling Microsoft what we want for several years now, and they have yet to listen.  Where's the 920 replacement with removable back and battery, and expandable storage? Microsoft seems focused on giving us the phones they want us to have, instead of the phones that the market keeps telling them that people want.  All they have to do is look to the Android phones to see the features that people want.  This isn't rocket science.
  • "The commenters on these message boards have been telling Microsoft what we want for several years now,"   Sorry, but you're almost funny..
  • I don't understand why you're saying that. A customer goes into a store and sees a Nokia flagship and about 10 Android flagships. He really likes the looks of the Nokia... but all of the Android phones have removable battery and expandable storage... oh, plus 10x more apps. Which phone do you think they'll choose? Apparently, 75% are choosing the phones with more options. The phones that don't weigh half of a pound.
  • You seem to forget that Microsoft is not the only manufacturer of WP. None of then are making the device you claim everyone wants and all of them want to sell phones. The conclusion I draw is that what you think everyone wants is inaccurate. Get the 830 and quit your griping. I want a phone with a keyboard, but realized that it wasn't coming and have moved on.
  • "Get the 830 and quit your griping." It's that marketing strategy that is killing Windows Phone. Weren't we at 4.7% market share two years ago? Basically, the platforms market share in the US hasn't budged... and, globally, it's shrunken. But, sure, you're right, Microsoft should stay the course. lol
  • "Get the 830 and quit your griping" isn't my marketing strategy, genius. I'm telling you to get the 830 and quit griping. I don't have a marketing strategy for a company I don't work for. I'm their customer and so are you. The things you mentioned everyone wants in a phone is close to what the 830 offers. I have yet to have a phone that fulfilled 100% of my wants and needs so get the closest match. For you that would be the 830.
  • Didn't you realize at his first comment that he was talking as a market strategist and not merely a customer? You brought him down to a mere customer and said "this is what this is, deal with it". I guess only companies have the right to criticize their own strategy...oh wait, they never do.
  • Yeah, I shot down is "strategy" earlier. You fools need to understand that there is money involved and budgets to adhere to. Microsoft could make 900 different phones. It does not make financial sense to do so. They make the phones they think the most people will buy based on their budgetary constraints. They do market analysis with real data, not what this cat thinks everyone wants. It should be obvious to everyone that hardware is not what's keeping WP from gaining more market share.
  • They don't need to make 900 phones. They just need to give us the basic options that. customers want--expandable storage, replaceable battery, etc. You're just being stubborn--just like Nokia/Microsoft--and you see the results. In case you haven't noticed, the best-selling Windows & Android phones have the features I mentioned. Hm, do you really think it's a coincidence?
  • You claimed before that no Windows phone had the features you mentioned and now you're saying the best selling Windows phones have the features you mentioned. You're talking in circles and making shit up, and then using sarcasm as if you have a clue. People that use sarcasm almost always are freaking dumb and you are no exception.
  • Kik I'm a little bit sorry to say that, but I think the logic of your arguments is broken and you're rushing to wrong conclusions.
    The demand for a removable battery is typically voiced by geeks (if you find that term insulting, think "poweruser") and (wrongfully) generalized onto the majority of customers.
    Although the demand is so popular on the internet, I have never ever once observed a customer in a store telling a sales representative: "Oh, I like that phone, but I can't buy it, because it has no option to remove the battery."
    You couldn't explain why the iPhone or phones like the HTC One and Sonys Z-line sell in spades, if customers in general were as a obsessed with removable batteries as "the internet".
    You're right, that with Samsung a market leader in the shape of a manufacturer that offers removable batteries has risen to the number one spot, but I don't think you can relegate their success to removable batteries. Samsung is market leader against the vocal claims of the poor manufacturing quality of their devices, but their success rests on their enormous marketing budget.
    And claiming that the bestselling Windows Phones (Lumia 520, 630) have removable batteries, isn't an argument for removable batteries either. To compare high-end device (Lumia Icon/930) sales to entry-level device (Lumia 520) sales, is simply no fair contest, because you can't expect a phone that costs ten times as much (Lumia Icon/930 $500) to sell as much units as a cheaper phone class (Lumia 520 $50).
  • Agree. Main reason I refuse to buy another WP is the lack of expandable storage. Not the OS or it's lack of apps.
  • You mean the reason you won't buy another Nokia. WP doesn't begin and end with Nokia,
  • MS has been making phone with a removable battery and sdcard support for years you know what makes your argument kind of silly is apples iPhone has neither a removable battery or sdcard support but its still a big success oh and by they way does android ice cream sandwich have the ability to move apps to SD card out of the box I was messing with one the other day and it gave me no option to but damn was that some ugly UI
  • I don't want to choose the phone that's "closest" to what I want. I want to buy the phone that is "exactly" what I want. And, sadly... when it comes to specs and options, it's usually an Android phone. And such is the case for 75% of the market. The 830 is close... but, c'mon, a 1MP camera on the front... when there's a 10MP on the back? That makes no sense to me. At least give me the standard 2MP. And there in lies my point--for too many of us, it always feels like a compromise when we buy a Windows Phone. For example, I own a 925. I bought it for myself last Christmas because my contract was up and there wasn't a new flagship on AT&T. The problem is... it doesn't have enough disk space for my music... and there's no expansion slot. So what do I have to do? I have to remove some playlists and/or remove apps. WHY should I have to do that in 2014?!? That's my freakin' point. If I didn't love WP so much, I would've just chosen any 10 Android flagships that had exactly what I wanted. And THAT is why Windows Phone is stuck below 5%.
  • You have proven my point. The phone you want that has the specs and options is an Android phone, which is not the OS you want. Therefore, the perfect phone for you does not exist. Go with what's closest and quit the GD griping! If perfection is only what's good enough for you then you will be constantly disappointed. I'm not saying that's good, just that it's life.
  • What I want is a flagship Windows Phone with expandable storage and removable battery... and is not a phablet like the 1520. It's pretty simple really. I don't understand why it's so difficult for you to understand. But keep carrying Microsoft's water for them. It's been working out real well--under 5% market share after four years. *sigh*
  • You're beyond retarded. The world does not revolve around your needs. That's the part that *you* don't understand. If Microsoft or any of the OEMs thought they could sell such a device they would offer one. The fact that they don't offer one is an indication that they don't feel the market for such a device is strong enough. This will be my final attempt to get through that thick skull of yours.
  • Almost every Windows Phone released by an OEM has exactly what I want. In fact, even the lower-end Windows Phone made by Microsoft have the things that I want (oh... and look, they're selling well). Also, those Android phones that are selling by the BILLION--they do too. The only phones that don't have what I want are the WINDOWS flagship phones--the 920, 925, and 930--and, clearly, not enough people are buying them. All I'm asking for is the SAME features that just about every phone manufacturer already gives us! The only one that doesn't is Apple... and they don't need to... but Microsoft surely DOES need to. I'm not the only one asking for this. But, go ahead, keep compromising. Most consumers will not... because they don't have to. And it won't be long before Windows Phone fans like myself give up as well. We've been asking Microsoft for a flagship Lumia with expandable storage and removable battery for two years and still haven't got it. And the 830 isn't it, so... whatever.
  • Get you fact right. 5xx and 7xx lines are selling like a hot cakes is not because of the existence of removable battery. They selling well because they are cheap. Removable storage is a must since they only offer 8GB. Even if it has 16GB and no removeable storage, they will still selling well because they ARE cheap.
  • Well guess what apples macos has been around for 20 years and just now reached 4.7 % market share so 4.7% matketshare ain't bad in four years and it will keep getting better
  • The only way market share will increase in the U.S. is if they give them away at McDonalds. Microsoft is a dinosaur in the Mobile industry. The same can be said of Nokia prior to the Microsoft sale. Nokia had one option for survival, and that was Android. But instead they hitched their wagon to an outdated Microsoft ecosystem.
  • The article these comments are attached to clearly state that Windows Phone sales are increasing globally.
  • Have you had a look at the Passport? :-) Sure, different OS. I wish there was a device like that with WP... http://us.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberry-passport.html Posted via the WPC App for Android from BlackBerry Z10!
  • @ lippidp You mentioned the keyword, keyboard.... Posted via the WPC App for Android from BlackBerry Z10!
  • 8.1 brings WP on par with the other two feature wise. All the features that everyone was crying about for 2 years MS has brought them. No excuse for WP to put along side the other two. A lot of the problem still unknowledgeable sales staff in the stores and not releasing a flagship on all 4 US carriers at once. What exactly are the options are you talking about anyway?
     
  • You do realize that the "looks" and the ruggedness (the Lumia 920 has been dropped from a balloon miles high in the sky) of Nokia/Microsoft phones are a consequence of the unibody design; this would not be possible with a removable battery, which usually results in a removable backplate. But the ruggedness of the phones is one of their iconic attributes.
  • Apple makes the choices for their customers, seems they're making trainloads of profit just riding the hype...
  • Apple is the exception. Besides, if you haven't noticed, that model is failing. Apple is LOSING market share, especially in the global market. The US is keeping them propped up. Microsoft's problem is not Apple, it's Google/Android.
  • No I haven't noticed Apple is failing. But I'm not sure I want MS to follow Androids model, I'm big on security and Android open platform is probably its greatest strength, growth wise.