The full set of Kantar WorldPanel numbers for the 3 months ending March 2013 has been released now, and as has been the pattern recently it should bring a smile to the face of Windows Phone fans.
Overall Windows Phone now had 6.5% market share in the big 5 EU markets (UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France). In UK the OS has now reached 7% market share, growing from 2.9% a year ago and 6.7% last month.
Of note is that 2 full months of Blackberry Z10 sales did result in any market share gains for Blackberry, which remained static at 5.1% share.
In Germany it was 6.1%, slightly off from 6.8% last month, likely reflecting the lack of a recent high end Windows Phone release in the economically strong country. Spain also saw a small drop to 1.3%, reflecting the absolute dominance of Android.
Overall in the EU5 Windows Phone is now a solid 3rd place, with a market share 1/3 of that of the iPhone, and growing, while iOS continues to shrink, suggesting displacing Apple as the second operating system is certainly possible in Europe.
Kantar notes Windows share growth has continued to rise in European markets, particularly where Windows is supported by the legacy of its hardware partners.
Outside Europe, in Australia Windows Phone also grew to 4.1% from 3.3% a year ago and 3.4% last month, while in Urban China Windows Phone grew from 1.4% last month to 2.0%.
We have had a taste of the US numbers last week, where Windows Phone grew to 5.6% of the market, up from 3.7% last year and 4.1% last month.
The full release is now available, and it shows Windows Phone having more than 5% market share in both carriers, up from 4.1% last month on Verizon and 4.7% last month on AT&T. The release of the Blackberry Z10 on AT&T in March appeared to have boosted RIM’s market share slightly, from 0.5% last month to 1.2%, but this clearly shows a turn around is pretty far away.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato states, “As iOS and Android continue to battle it out for top selling smartphone OS, we have seen Windows steadily grow over the past year and is now at its highest sales share figure so far.”
The US market differs in the fact that there are still many users in the market that are yet to upgrade to their first smartphone device. And Windows is starting to capture these consumers.
“Windows strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a featurephone. Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Windows smartphone, 52% had previously owned a featurephone. Comparatively, the majority of iOS and Android new customers were repeat smartphone buyers, with 55% of new iOS customers, and 51% of new Android customers coming from another smartphone. While the differences between these figures are small, with over half of the US market still owning a featurephone, it’s likely that many will upgrade over the coming year, which will ultimately contribute to more growth for the Windows brand.” Parlato continues.
While worldwide Windows Phone market share is still likely in the 3% range, the OS is now hitting numbers which are difficult to ignore in the major markets of Europe and USA, which should help convince developers to create apps for the platform, hopefully sparking a virtuous cycle of increasing market share worldwide.