Kantar: Android top-selling mobile OS in Q1; Windows gains

Kantar: Android top-selling mobile OS in Q1; Windows gains

Summary: Android took the crown for mobile operating systems last quarter, but Windows Phone made some notable improvements.


Android was the top-selling mobile operating system domestically during the first quarter of 2012, according to a new report from consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Google's mobile platform accounted for nearly half of smartphone sales with 49.3 percent of the pie. Apple's iOS followed closely with 43.7 percent.

Analysts pointed out that iOS declined throughout the quarter, which could be due to consumers waiting for the next generation of the iPhone, expected to be unveiled within the next few months.

But the bigger story from the report, as emphasized by Kantar analysts, was Windows Phone.

Microsoft's entry gained 1.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Following up its October debut, Windows Phone claimed 5.6 percent of all smartphone sales in Q1 2013.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato suggested in the report that Windows tends to entice a particular consumer demographic.

Windows strength appears to be the ability to attract first time smartphone buyers, upgrading from a featurephone. Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Windows smartphone, 52% had previously owned a featurephone. 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. While the differences between these figures are small, with over half of the US market still owning a featurephone, it’s likely that many will upgrade over the coming year, which will ultimately contribute to more growth for the Windows brand.

Analysts also pointed towards growing interest for Windows Phone in Europe thanks to support from legacy hardware partners -- not to mention collateral success for Finnish phone maker Nokia.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • WP8 is great

    I'm glad it's starting to get some traction. Hopefully, it'll keep getting more.
    Sir Name
  • WP8 indeed

    Is great. I also want to mention that Nokia really stands out in the WP8 world, especially their application support is reason enough for me to choose them over the others.
  • Apple has peaked

    Even though I'm a Windows fan, I try to look at things objectively. Based on that, I think iOS devices have peaked. The Apple fan base seems to have reached its maximum and is even headed down in terms of numbers. Samsung's Android phones are clearly taking over the lead from Apple. I think the great shakeout is going to leave Samsung/Android, Apple/iOS, Nokia/WP, and a bunch of essentially generic Android phones. Android devices are going to be increasingly limited due to the lack of depth and scalability upwards of their eco system. WP devices are going to benefit from the exact opposite. iOS (and OS X) has the same problem as Android but it has a much older design that will be hard to modernize without essentially starting over. Also, like another article pointed out, Apple is going to get squeezed on component costs by Samsung, who probably feel like a little payback is due. On the other hand, Apple does have a very loyal base, which is smaller than the actual number of people who have iPhones and iPads today.
    Sir Name
    • I doubt it!

      It takes many, many different versions and manufacturers of Android phone to achieve a couple of percent more market share than Apple, who at any time have only 3 iPhones.

      The article also noted that there is likely a slowing of sales of iPhones before the release of the next model. That happens every time.
      • Bit of a stretch

        "The article also noted that there is likely a slowing of sales of iPhones before the release of the next model. That happens every time."

        Not this early. In the past it has taken firmer rumours than the current crop before a sales slowdown has been seen. Still, if that's all the defenders have to work with, you go girl.
        Little Old Man
        • There's an old saying:

          "It's ain't over until the fat lady sings". Last time I checked she wasn't singing for Apple yet.
          • Simple reason for that

            Apple managed to get a patent on a people singing so now she works for them....
            Little Old Man
    • You said you like to look at things objectively.

      I take it that you mean you like to and just wont? Or you mean you do normally just not in this case.....

      How, exactly, will Android devices going to be increasingly limited? Lack of depth and scalability? Explanation necessary. I just cant fathom what your meaning is. There is no indication of a decline in the Android ecosystem. And its Linux so it is inherently scalable. You think massive transaction applications use windows? You'd be foolish, even Microsoft uses linux for its skype servers due to scalability. Pardon the confusion on my end. You got a date with Bill Gates tonight or what? WP8 is terrible, worse than Windows 8. Microsoft is making a lot of mistakes right now. The only Windows cheerleaders I encounter work directly for Microsoft or they hang out on ZDnet looking for an opportunity to jump out there and talk non-sense. The eco-system for RT is off to a REALLY bad start. The top apps available for Android and iOS are not available on the RT platform. Office isnt even available yet. There is a clear indication of the future of Microsoft, you should pay attention to Microsoft's recent announcements that they will be producing apps and games for Android and iOS. They know they cant play the closed system game any more and every other strategy has failed them to get into this expanding market. Only way I would own a Microsoft device was if it was given to me for free. I would then just try to sell it, its feeble.
  • Kantar: Android top-selling mobile OS in Q1; Windows gains

    Microsoft Windows Phone is gaining because its a great OS. Live tiles give you the information you need quickly. Sometimes I do my own little Microsoft Windows Phone challenge with my friends like Ben the PC guy does on the commercials.
    • they will soon need a "viruses found" number tile

      which will become very 'live' as soon as windows reaches a meaningful threshold in usage share. The underlying, aging win32 layer will make for easy exploits.
      • win32 api

        is absent from WP7 and WP8.

        The viruses found widget is an Android only feature by the way. Virusses and privacy problems, reason enough to avoid the dataminer''s os.
        • re: win32 api is absent from WP7 and WP8.

          Sir Name
        • Android does not have virus but malware,virus is a type of malware

        • Same can be said about Windows

          So I suppose you avoid Windows like the plague, because of Viruses?
          • Different type of insecure

            You see the level of *critical* information on your pc, think banking etc, is far higher than phone, generally think contacts/photos, but it's fine to use an OS riddled with malware on your pc.

            For a phone the bar is set much higher and the windows zealots think that an app that tracks your location is crime of the century.
            Little Old Man
          • Personally

            IMHO it's not how unsecure a system is it's how it's used and secured by the user. There is no invulnerable system - Linux comes close as done Windows 8 - but Windows 7, Android, Mac OS, iOS... they are just as secure or unsecure as the user makes them.
          • I agree entirely

            With the right precautions you can stay safe with any OS and conversely, if you blindly think that your OS is safe, you'll probably learn a lesson quite soon.
            Little Old Man
    • i have a more likely theory

      Its because of the billions shoveled pretty much fruitlessly into marketing these things over the last 3 years. I mean I was starting to actually feel bad for them.
    • I still

      cannot warm up to the interface... IMHO it's entirely too busy. I do like the interface on the new BB devices though... my work phone is off contract in a couple of months - I'm looking at an iPhone 5 but I'm going to give some serious consideration to a BB 10 or a WP8 device depending on what VZW has. I've given Android a whirl and Samsung has not impressed me at all, HTC makes a decent kit but the support is lacking - considering it took them 6 months longer than they promised to deliver an ICS update. I may consider a Motorola Android device but I'll see what really wows me when my contract is up.
  • funny

    But Apple boasts: More photos are taken by iPhone than any other camera! - in their new tv spot. LOL it has come to that. Two words: HTC ONE! quietly brilliant is right!