Android quitters fuel Windows Phone UK growth

Android quitters fuel Windows Phone UK growth

Summary: Microsoft's Windows Phone is picking up fans at the expense of rival operating systems such as Android, according to new smartphone sales figures.


Nearly one-third of new Windows Phone owners in the UK were poached from rival platforms, according to new sales estimates.

Windows Phone devices are now selling in "serious quantities", with 700,000 new users added in the past year in the UK, the WPP market research firm Kantar reported on Monday.

During the three months to the end of January 2013, Windows Phone, spearheaded by Nokia's Lumia 800 but also the third most popular WP device the HTC 8X, accounted for six percent of the UK's smartphone sales, up from 2.4 percent in the same period last year.

iOS and Android still dwarf Windows Phone, with 30.6 percent and 56.2 percent share of UK sales respectively, but Microsoft's platform appears to be consolidating its position as the third player. Kantar notes that 30 percent of new Windows Phone owners were converted from other platforms.

New additions to the UK's Windows Phone user base were made up of 17 percent from Android, six percent from RIM and two percent from iOS, while 26 percent switched from Symbian — and 47 percent were first-time smartphone buyers.

"The fact that nearly one in five new customers switched from an Android device should give Microsoft, and its partners, confidence that its OS has what it takes to bring the fight to more established platforms. As almost 30 percent of its customers switch from rival OSes, the worry that Microsoft will have to rely on attracting the dwindling pool of first-time smartphone buyers to drive future growth is reduced," said Kantar's global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Dominic Sunnebo.

BlackBerry's share of sales has declined in the UK from 15.7 percent last year to 5.8 percent in the current quarter. But these figures do not include its latest BB10 device, the Z10, which launched in February and is proving popular, according to BlackBerry.

Windows Phone is now the third most popular-selling OS in the UK, Germany, France, US, Australia, and Italy, where it made up 14 percent of all smartphone sales for the quarter and is snapping at the heels of iOS, which comprised 21.5 percent of sales.

In China, Symbian remains the third most popular OS with 3.5 percent share of sales, followed by Windows Phone with 1.2 percent. Android leads in China with 71.5 percent of sales, followed by iOS with 23.2 percent.

Topics: Windows Phone, Android, HTC, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, United Kingdom, Windows 8

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • why do i need a subject ffs!!

    I've always said that most people don't even know what android is....

    My mates are all like "oh buy a Samsung...." Samsung and Apple are the brands...... Not IOS and Android...

    If Samsung all of a sudden stopped making Android phones and made Windows flagship phones then most people would buy them... its only the die hard google fans that really care about using the Android OS....
    • Ecosystem

      It's all about the ecosystem. Buy the phone that suits you on that mater. IOS is good, lots of apps, windows is getting better everyday with skydrive, office 365, and a better app catalog. BB's future is unclear. And finally, Android is a spyware. There is nothing more to say about it.
      • Still selling Lumia 800 over there?

        Boy, Nokia is slow in their production. That being said if L800 is enough to lure Android users away I can only imagine how a fully ramped-up 920 will slaughter those lousy Android phones.
    • Good points.

      Samsung now trends the Galaxy brand higher than the Android brand. Samsung could release a GSiV running Tizen and it would sell like wildfire.
      • well

        What is your speculation based on? Because following the recent trends, it's safe to say that Samsung is nothing without android. That is exactly why they don't have a fully functioning tizen yet. :/. How many ativ s or sammys running other os have you seen being sold? Answer me this... Where was Samsung before android?????? I'll tell you where they were.. Getting their butts kicked by Nokia... Haha.. Get your smart boy dumb shoes off and face reality...
        • @Zami90

          And your point?

          Sure. Samsung is nothing great without Android right now. But Bruizer's point is that if Samsung finds that Tizen is a good OS and decides to dump Android, how that affects Android.

          What Nokia is for Windows Phone, Samsung is for Android. However, Nokia has deep debts to pay MS and also MS has a loyal MS employee sitting as Nokia's CEO. In case of Samsung, Samsung's CEO sits at the board of Tizen development.
    • Re: I've always said that most people don't even know what android is....

      Oh, but they do. When you see phone vendors offering models based on similar hardware, one with Android, the other with Windows Phone, and the Android one sells and the WP one doesn't, then it's pretty clear the customers can tell the difference.
      • No...

        They don't..... People buy Samsung.... that is why... now and again an LG phone will sell or something like that... but the only brand that ship in numbers are Samsung... That is why they are the only Android manufacturer that turn a profit...
        • The android numbers don't agree with you

          If it was only samsung selling large numbers, android could not have such a big lead over IOS. Simple as that.
          Up to this point, you've had "You can have an iphone or something else" - that was how it's been sold to me. When you say no to an iphone, the sales people then show you the android display and try and sell you whatever gets THEM the biggest sales reward.
          Just do the maths, match samsung sales to android activations and then explain where the massive difference is.
          Little Old Man
        • okay

          The only reason why Samsung sells most androids is because they put the premium specs on their phones to support android.. Will tizen excite as many devs as Andy or ios?? I doubt it.. Lets see what happens.. But here's an "itoldyouso" in advance :p
      • Oh, but they don't. Most Android sales are of the low end cheap models

        or the free models, so people are buying the phone, not the OS.

        But then when you see phone vendors offering models based on similar hardware, one with Android, the other with Windows Phone, and the Windows one sells and the Android one doesn't, is it that the customers can't tell the difference, or that they can?

        I'm curious in that scenerio
        William Farrel
      • Android has the most malware in history

        And then once they realise how much Android sucks, they go buy a Windows Phone as per the article...
        • Freedom

          Freedom is scary. You go hide in your walled garden and try to ignore the really interesting stuff that's going on outside.
    • So MS was betrayed by Samsung

      How sad.
      John L. Ries
      • .

        Do you have the IQ of a goldfish? Nowhere did I say that.... but Samsung do favour Android over WP... and why wouldn't they... it's where they established their dominance and make the money, no point risking if they don't need to... However only an idiot could deny that if the Samsung Galaxy 4 ran Windows Phone it wouldn't be one of the largest sellers this year....
        • Of course it would. It only sells because of Samsungs massive ad campaign

          That would sell equally as many windows phones. Windows phones have a better and more secure os and no malware. The usability and reliability are also much higher
          Johnny Vegas
          • Good to know

            So if Dell were to promote Linux PCs instead of Windows ones, they'd sell just as many PCs as they do now and make even more money, since they wouldn't have to pay MS for all those Windows licenses.

            John L. Ries
          • No One Wants Linux

            Dell already tried that. No one wanted them except to wipe and put warez Windows on. And they cost Dell a lot more to support and they had much higher return rates. This is why hardly any manufacturers sell Linux PCs....
        • I was being sarcastic, of course

          But, pre-Android, Samsung was not one of the brands that people deliberately sought out. Apple, Palm, and Blackberry fell into that category; not Samsung.

          Samsung has done a good job of selling Android phones and has justly profited thereby.
          John L. Ries
    • @danjames2012

      Doesn't Samsung sell their Ativ S Windows Phone?