Windows Phone All Set to become Third Largest Mobile OS

From long the mobile operating system battle has been between Android and Apple’s iOS. While Android has been winning in terms of market share, iOS is still the winner in terms of App Store revenue. But, is there a mobile operating system, which can gain a significant market share to become third largest? Well if recent study of Q1 2013 smartphone sales done by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech is considered, then Windows Phone has a great chance!

According to figures released by Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, the WPP-owned market research company that tracks sales of handsets across key markets on a 12-week rolling cycle and bases its figures on (as samples) 240,000 interviews annually in the U.S. and some 1 million across Europe, Android is maintaining the top selling operating system position with nearly half (49.3%) of smartphone sales. iOS continues to be in second place with 43.7% of smartphone sales. But the important trend was seen in Windows Phone’s sales. Though Windows Phone accounted for just 5.6% of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2013, it showed sustained growth, increasing its share by 1.9% compared to the same period last year.

market compare windows mobile

Only Windows Phone and Android have gained U.S. market share in last 12 months. Symbian is now almost dead, with only 0.2% of sales. BlackBerry’s optimistic BB10 launch has also failed so far failed to make any big impact on the company sales, which though gained 0.2 percentage points, to 0.9% of sales, compared to last month’s figures of 0.7%, but has lost significant 1.5% share since last year.

 Across the 5 European countries covered in the report, this pattern of Android domination and Windows Phone gains was again repeated. Windows Phone accounted for 6.5% of sales, up by 2.5 % points. Android had 68.8% share of sales, up over 10 % points. Similarly, in Australia, Android was nearly 63% of sales, up 8.8 % points, while Windows Phone was up 0.8 points to just over 4% of sales.

comtech q1 2013 report

 Why Windows Phone is gaining market share?

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato, “Windows strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a feature phone. Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Windows smartphone, 52% had previously owned a feature phone. 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.” Another important reason behind Windows Phone gain can be attributed to Nokia, which has made a lot of effort to create and promote their Lumia devices.

What it means for Mobile developers?

As one can see from the trends, Windows Phone is steadily gaining the market share. So developing apps for Windows Phone platform can be a good choice. If you already have an app on Google Play Store and Apple iTunes App Store, making it available to Windows Phone can help you reach bigger audience. Also, getting it developed early could also give businesses a competitive advantage.

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Jitin Narang

By Jitin NarangJitin Narang is VP - Alliances at TechAhead Software, a leading Mobile & Web Application Development company which helps brands to reach, connect, and interact with their audience through web and mobile effectively. You can contact him on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Read all articles written by him Reach us for Custom Mobile Applications (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows) and Web Applications (Open Source, Dot Net,Java ) requirements.