Android dominates, Windows Phone underwhelms and iOS surges in Japan: Kantar's Q1 report

The latest quarterly smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech are out and it doesn’t make good reading if you are Apple or Microsoft, because Google’s Android has cemented its dominant position yet again.


The report which accounted for sales in the major markets of the world in the 12 weeks to the end of March, showed that in Europe Android is the leading OS. Windows Phone accounted for 8.1 percent of smartphone sales across the top five EU markets, but with over 70 percent sales, Android took the cake. iOS came in second with a 19.2 percent share across Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spain. Europe has actually been a major growth market and Italy in particular has show great appetite for Microsoft’s OS.


In more good news for Microsoft, Windows Phone has been doing very well in Latin America, best market at the moment. In Argentina it has over 12.2 percent share, while in Brazil it has a 5.5 percent share, beating iOS in both markets. Apple’s OS had a negligible share in Brazil and Argentina, netting just over 2 percent in each market.


But in the US, Australia, China and Japan, some of the biggest markets in the world, Windows Phone trailed its rivals badly, meaning Microsoft has its work cut out after completing the Nokia acquisition.


Apple’s OS was a huge hit in Japan, netting for nearly 55 percent of the market, and it had a healthy share in Australia, UK and the US too. However, in the latter three Android was the leading OS. And finally in China, iOS is a distant second to Android, which accounts for over 80 percent of the market.


All in all, while the situation remains largely unchanged on a global scale, Microsoft is making headway in some markets, but not in the ones that would matter. Microsoft has not been able to capitalise as well as one would have hoped in major boom markets.


Dominic Sunnebo, a director at Kantar, says the Windows is facing double pressure from rivals in terms of ecosystem and the price point of devices. Nokia’s advantage of delivering budget Windows Phone 8 devices has been blunted by the launch of the Moto G, and its likes, which have negated some of those niggling issues that Android devices face at this price point.“Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones. Now, we’re starting to see some really compelling competition at this end of the market from the likes of Motorola (with Moto G) and Samsung (heavily discounted S3 & mini models) eating into prime Nokia territory,” Sunnebo added.

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