Microsoft’s struggling Windows Phone platform achieved its “highest ever level” of 8.2 per cent market share across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in the three months to July 2013, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
According to the company, Windows Phone’s current level of success has not come through winning over customers from the EU5’s dominant smartphone platforms – Android, with 69.1 per cent share for the period, or Apple’s iOS, with 17.9 per cent.
Instead, it has come from “convincing first time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices, with 42 per cent of sales over the past year coming from existing feature phone owners”.
Nokia’s low-cost Lumia 520, for example, is “hitting a sweet spot, offering the price and quality that new smartphone buyers are looking for”, the company said.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: “Feature phone owners present a huge opportunity, representing more than half of all mobile users globally and this will be the new battleground over the next year. With the iPhone 4 and lower end or older Samsung Galaxy models selling well among first time smartphone owners, there is plenty of competition for these customers.”
In order to succeed in this market, brands need to “understand and address the needs of consumers in terms of price, content and quality”.
While after a period of lacklustre performances, Windows Phone now appears to have some momentum on its side; across the EU5 countries BlackBerry has been the big loser, shedding 4.3 points of market share compared with the three months to July 2012.
The company now has a market share of just 2.4 per cent, putting it some way behind Windows Phone – and not far ahead of the Symbian OS platform Nokia axed some time ago, which still has a 1.1 per cent share from devices still in the channel.