Windows Grows, as Android and iOS Fight for the Top Spot
During the 12 weeks up to Christmas, Windows Phone's share of smartphone sales grew 2.8 per cent year-on-year in EU5 countries, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's sales data.
This growth was especially strong in Italy, where its share leapt up by 11.1 per cent year-on-year, to make up 13.9 per cent of all smartphone sales in the country.
In the UK, meanwhile, Windows Phone's market share increased 3.7 per cent, to a total 5.9 per cent. This goes hand-in-hand with the successes of Nokia, which saw its share of UK smartphone sales hit 6.2 per cent, with actual sales growing by more than 50 per cent year-on-year.
While growth was certainly uneven – with its performance in China and the US, there was only one territory covered by the report where Windows Phone failed to gain any ground. That was Germany, where its share of sales dropped 0.4 per cent.
Android vs iOS
The two leading OSs were, of course, iOS and Android, but the leading platform changed from country to country. In the US and Japan, iOS is still number one – with Apple's share of sales more than double those of Android devices in Japan.
In Europe, China and Australia, meanwhile, Android holds the top spot – with its share of sales as high as 86.4 per cent, in the case of Spain.
In the US, iOS made up 51.2 per cent of smartphones sold during the 12 weeks ending 23 December 2012. In second place, Android accounted for 44.2 per cent, leaving very little of the market for other platforms, including Windows Phone, which took distant third with 2.6 per cent of sales.
What's most significant about iOS's lead is that it grew, by 6.3 per cent, and at the expense of Android. According to the report, 36 per cent of US iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year, and 19 per cent came from ex-Android users, nearly double the amount in 2011.
During the 12 weeks, smartphone penetration in the UK hit 61 per cent, with smartphones making up 82 per cent of all mobile phone sales.
The festive period obviously played a part in pushing this adoption – a third of all handsets bought in December were given as Christmas gifts, and more than one in five of those were bought from one store, Tesco.
The most commonly gifted handset was the BlackBerry 9320. That might sound surprising, until paired with the information that the majority of smartphone gift recipients were under 18 years old. Clearly, BBM's popularity with the teen market lives on.