Here is a big surprise for Windows Phone users in USA.
According to the latest Comscore numbers Windows Phone was the fastest growing mobile OS in USA in the 3 months ending February 2014.
By their numbers over the last 3 months Windows Phone added 490,000 users, while Android only added 326,000 and iOS 163,000. This is without accounting for the growth in the market, which itself increased by 7%.
Windows Phone also increased from 3.2 to 3.4% month on month and solidified its distance from Blackberry, which is now only 2.9% of the market.
If real, the increase is again likely due to the success of the Nokia Lumia 520 and 521, and we hope the Nokia Lumia 635 will have a similar success on AT&T and T-Mobile.
See the full report at Comscore here.
NBC Universal has released 3 Windows Phone apps for their programming.
The apps, which are somewhat cookie-cutter and all the same, are for the Telemundo, Syfy and USA channels.
The Telemundo app lets USA viewers watch full episodes of current Telemundo novelas and shows on Telemundo Now after authenticating through your TV provider.
The Syfy Now app lets select cable TV subscribers watch full episodes of their favorite Syfy shows, including new episodes available the day after they air for most programs. Viewers need to log in with their cable or satellite provider account to gain access to the currently available episodes. If your cable company is not supported users can still watch selected full episodes and clips from Syfy shows, behind-the-scenes interviews, original online series like Riese: Kingdom Falling and more.
Similarly USA Now lets users see full episodes of their favourite USA shows, including new episodes available the day after they air on television and back episodes for some shows.
If your cable company is not supported viewers can still see special full episodes that don’t require an account to view, exclusive video clips including behind-the-scenes and interviews, a program schedule, and more.
Windows 8 versions of the apps are also available.
The apps can be found at the links below.
According to the latest data from Comscore, Windows Phones are now used by more subscribers than Blackberry handsets in USA.
3.2% of 159.8 million US smartphone owners use Windows Phones, or 5.11 million people, vs 4.95 million Blackberry owners.
This is up around 330,000 people from 3 months ago, indicating the effect of the Christmas season on sales, likely due to great Nokia Lumia 520/521 sales.
Blackberry is down another 0.5%, after losing 0.7% 3 months earlier, which is unsurprising when the operating system only holds 0.5% of the US smartphone sales. A recent promotion by T-Mobile saw 94% of Blackberry users taking part upgrading to handsets running other operating systems, despite a $50 incentive to stay Blackberry by T-Mobile.
Of course 3.2% is still well in the range of irrelevance, so we hope for actual growth in the market, which I think we will only see if Microsoft release a low-cost handset on Verizon.
See the full report at Comscore here.
Jussi Nevanlinna, VP for Mobile Phone marketing at Nokia spoke about the new Nokia X family to Nokia Conversations. He answered lots of interesting questions about Nokia X family, I’ve collected few of them below,
On timing of Nokia X family announcement,
We’re the number one manufacturer in growth markets in the ‘entry-level’ and ‘feature phone’ categories. But a lot of those people are now aspiring to smartphone products. There are a significant number of users worldwide who are about to experience the Internet through a mobile device. As you can imagine, we want to be ready for them.
Target audience for Nokia X,
These are global products, which will be available pretty much everywhere except North America, Korea and Japan. We have a particular focus on growth markets – for example, India and China, Thailand and Indonesia then over to Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria, and South America, especially countries like Brazil, and Mexico. They are all places where we’re seeing this big shift from feature phones to affordable smartphones.
So we’re offering them the best of three worlds: Nokia design and build quality; Microsoft cloud services; and Android apps.
Technology becomes cheaper all the time. When it becomes possible to create a Lumia for $100, will the X family be retired?
I think the key word is ‘family’. We will be announcing more products in the family over the course of the next year, and the price range it covers will change to suit the markets. We will be taking Nokia X into even more affordable price points.
Does the X family compete with the Lumia family and maybe mean lost sales for Lumia?
Our approach to compete in the affordable smartphone market is twofold. While Lumia remains our primary smartphone platform and we continue to push the prices down, Nokia X addresses price points that are generally lower than those reached by Lumia, and we’ll keep pushing the Nokia X prices down even further.
In fact we see Nokia X as a stepping-stone to Lumia. With Nokia X we are bringing people the best of Nokia and Microsoft services and experiences, making a future switch to Lumia natural.
Read more from the link below.
In as far as Comscore numbers can be trusted, things continue to look bad for Windows Phone in USA.
The latest numbers back from the market research company shows Windows Phone having 3.1% share of the subscriber base in the last 3 months of 2013, down from 3.3% in Q3 2013.
That translates into Windows Phone subscribers dropping from 4.88 million to 4.83 million users.
While we have reports of gangbuster sales of Nokia’s cheapest Windows Phone in USA, the Nokia Lumia 521/520,it seems the pull of the newly launched iPhone was too much. If there is any consolation to Windows Phone, it is that even Android lost some market share over the period, with Apple being the big winner, gaining a full 1.2% in the period.
It is likely we will once again see gains over the next 3 quarters, as iPhone mania subsides, but it is clear the US market remains a very hard nut to crack.
We recently saw the Nokia Lumia Icon appearing to support the carrier’s Isis Mobile Payment system.
Now the company’s official twitter client has confirmed that they are working on a Windows Phone client, suggesting Windows Phone users stay tuned.
The carrier-blessed mobile payment system Isis has started rolling out for Android handsets recently, with the promise of eventual Windows Phone support. A sleeve for the iPhone has just arrived which adds NFC capability to that device, but I suspect uptake will be rather poor, while most higher-end Windows Phones have NFC built-in, and will hopefully benefit more from Isis support.
The Isis contactless payment service at present works with pre-paid American Express cards, and is also able to replace American Express, Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, Slate from Chase and JP Morgan Palladium credit cards at compatible retail Point of Sale locations. It is supported by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and requires a special secure SIM card to be activate, which carriers will provide free of charge.
Unlike Google’s Google Wallet solution ISIS is platform agnostic, which is obviously good news for Windows Phone users.
Kantar has been teasing some numbers from their Q4 2013 report which provides some insight into Nokia’s performance in USA and abroad.
According to their research 45% of Nokia’s sale were on US’s budget carrier, T-Mobile. As can be expected, the vast majority of these sales were low-end Windows Phones, with 68% of Nokia’s Q4 2013 Lumia sales being the Nokia Lumia 520 and 521, which was retailing for as low as $60.
This leaves only 32% for handsets like the Nokia Lumia 925, 928, 1020 and 1520, and given the usual relatively small volume of the US market suggests sales of some of these handsets could be measured in tens rather than hundreds of thousands of units.
Still, 9 million US residents would prefer a Nokia over any other handset, while 39 million would consider one.
This pales in comparison to China, where Nokia is the top choice for 57 million Chinese, with 123 million willing to consider one. The implication to the Lumia range of losing the Nokia brand remains worrying.
Kantar reports Windows Phone users engage about the same amount as Android users with their handsets, which is less than iOS. This is likely the consequence of targeting the lower-end market.
Lastly, they revealed that while 36% of new Windows Phone users switched from feature phones in UK, an increasing amount were also switching from Blackberry.
See Kantar’s tweets after the break.
Here is a small bit of good news in an otherwise down Windows Phone day.
Boopsie, a leading mobile app provider for libraries worldwide, has released some interesting 2013 consumer mobile data trends from its new Boopsie Analytics service regarding the US market.
At the end of 2013, Boopsie Analytics discovered that while nationwide iOS usage was decreasing among the millions of users of its 300+ library-branded mobile apps, Android usage was on the rise.
When looking at the minor players however Boopsie’s analysts noted another trend.
“We noticed another devastating trend in 2013 involving Blackberry,” states Tony Medrano, CEO of Boopsie. “From January to September alone, BlackBerry usage plummeted by 47%. They lost 60.2% of their market share.” Since Boopsie launched individual library-branded Windows Phone 8 apps to its customers in June of 2013, the company has noticed a steady increase in WP8 app usage, seemingly at the expense of BlackBerry. From there, things just got worse for BlackBerry. In just six months since the launch of the WP8 apps, there has been a 91% increase in Windows Phone 8 library app usage.
“By the end of 2013, the number of Windows Phone 8 users of our services had surpassed Blackberry users by 427%,” states Will Poole, a member of Boopsie’s Board of Directors and former Corporate Vice President at Microsoft. “The adoption rate of Windows Phone 8 is staggering. While still trailing well behind the leaders, the Windows platform is clearly catching on with users and could be the next big thing in mobile.”
Kantar has been teasing some numbers for Q4 2013, with their latest tweet revealing that 52% of Windows Phone users in US are searching using Bing on their phone, while the balance were using the browser to navigate to Google.
The number is down from 58% in November, but of course it must be remembered that this number is still nearly 3 times more than the 18% desktop search market share Bing has in USA, and likely contributes significantly to Bing’s overall mobile search market share in the USA increasing 43% from 2.31% to 3.31% over the course of the year.
Do our readers use the built-in Bing search, or do you bookmark Google? Let us know below.
As underlined by the Kantar numbers earlier today, Windows Phone continues to struggle in the US market.
The November Comscore numbers are now out, showing that Windows Phone users slipped from 3.2 to 3.1% of smartphone subscribers in the USA. The number is also down from 3.2% in October, and represents around 4.73 million of the 152.5 million US smartphone users.
The slack seems to have been largely taken up by Android, which grew 0.3% to 51.9% and iOS, which grew 0.5% to 41.2% of the market.
If there are any good news, it is that Blackberry continues to slip at a rather rapid rate, and Windows Phone will soon be the number 3 operating system in US, not just by sales, but also by total ownership.
See the full report at Comscore here.
We have already seen the Kantar numbers for November 2013, and while the results are thankfully encouraging in Europe, with Windows phone taking a respectable 10% of the 5 largest European markets, the numbers remain stubbornly flat in USA and China, at only 4.7% in USA and 2.7% in China.
Kantar analyst Dominic Sunnebo comments: “You don’t have to conquer China and the US to win in the smartphone market, but you do need success in one of them. At the moment there are few signs of progress in either country for Windows Phone and momentum needs to be made soon before OS loyalty severely limits the available market.”
Sunnebo notes China is the most amenable market, but that Microsoft, as a US company, may instead continue to futile attack the US market.
“China is likely to be the easier and more rewarding target for Windows. After all, Nokia has a huge existing presence in the market, retains strong customer preference and can sell handsets at the right price to capture the huge numbers of people with relatively modest budgets. However, with Microsoft soon running the show it’s hard to imagine a change in strategic direction away from the US.”
Which course do our readers think Microsoft should pursue? Let us know below.
There does not appear to be any movement in the US smartphone, as the latest Nielsen report continues to show in the 3 months ending October only 2% of US smartphone owners own Windows phones.
The numbers are virtually unchanged from last month, and even from 5 months ago, with the only change being that iOS gained 1% and Android lost 1%.
Nielsen also reports on a more interesting and dynamic trend – the rise of smartphone apps as a way to access services, such as YouTube and Facebook, and a corresponding reduction in web usage.
Comscore has released their smartphone market share numbers for the 3 months ending October 2013, compared with the 3 months ending July 2013.
Over the 3 month period Windows Phone’s share of the smartphone user base in USA increased by 0.2%, and with the growth in the market that has meant that around 475,000 Windows Phone users have been added over the same period, leaving us with an installed base of 4.774 million users.
Over the period nearly every mobile operating system grew share, except for Blackberry, which suffered a massive 0.7% loss, one of the biggest ever, leaving it only 0.4% away from the Windows Phone installed base. The other operating system which saw share loss was Symbian, which is of course no longer being sold in USA.
Interestingly the numbers appear to indicate those departing Blackberry and Symbian users chose Windows Phones as often as they chose iPhones, with the majority choosing Android handsets.
See the full report at Comscore here.