Latest figures published by market research group Kantar has revealed that Windows Phone is on the rise across the board, excluding a number of markets where sales remain low. The Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S are all high-end smartphones that will be pushing the platform forward in 2013 with potential marketshare gain in multiple locations, but how has the platform progressed through 2012?
According to supplied data, Windows Phone is continuing to grow in a number of markets, comparing marketshare of November 2012 and the same period the previous year. Italy again saw the highest increase at 8.2%, while Great Britain of all markets came in second with 3.4% (largely down to Nokia's Lumia efforts), just behind Android. The platform is still evidently lagging behind, but it's definitely taking strides.
The data does not reflect launches of hardware by supporting OEMs, since we're closing at November which is when Windows Phone 8 was officially released. We'll be waiting for data that'll include the festive holidays with the ATIV S being made available, as well as the Lumia 920 exclusivity coming to an end in the UK.
But not all is rosy in the marketshare table as both Germany and Brazil reported drops of 1.4% and 1.8% respectively. Again, this is before we take into account the latest hardware, but it does show a slowdown with the disappointment caused by the non-upgradable-to-Apollo Windows Phones that were released earlier this year. EU5 as a whole (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) saw an increase of 2.1% for Windows Phone.
In the US, Android took a battering while iOS regained some ground. Google's platform fell behind Apple with a reported fall in marketshare of almost 11%, while Windows Phone enjoyed growth of 0.6%. It's minute, but we'll take it over a sudden drop that Android experienced. The US may be switching to an iOS dominated market, but Europe remains on Android's side of the fence.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, had the following to comment on the performance of Windows Phone:
"Although Windows sales in the US remain subdued, Nokia is managing to claw back some of its share in Great Britain through keenly priced Lumia 800 and 610 prepay deals. The next period will prove crucial in revealing initial consumer reactions to the Nokia 920 and HTC Windows 8X devices.
Nokia continues to find it tough to attract younger consumers in Great Britain. Over the past six months, just 28% of Nokia Lumia 800 sales have come from under 35’s, compared with 42% of all smartphone sales. With the Nokia Lumia 920 being one of the few handsets available on EE 4G, new tariffs may help to change this by attracting early adopters in the coming months."
Is it looking positive for Windows Phone? Sure it is, but we'd like to see some updated figured post-New Year to really see how the new hardware is performing in retail and operator stores across the globe. 2013 will be a defining year for Microsoft. With the upcoming launch of its Surface Pro Windows tablet, Windows Phone will be closely marketed alongside Xbox and Windows 8 in attempt to drive momentum.
Be sure to download the data (PDF) from the Kantar website.