Motorola surging in UK market as Australia marks time

Windows Phone's niche in the UK market under new threat as Motorola's Moto G phone is a success among young males with lower incomes, says the latest edition of Kantar's smartphone sales data.

In the space of six months, Motorola has moved from the depths of smartphone oblivion to claim 6 percent of the UK market, data from Kantar's smartphone sales report for the three months until the end of February shows.

Kantar says 83 percent of the purchasers of the Moto G are male, almost 50 percent are aged between 16 and 24, and 40 percent of purchasers have incomes under £20,000.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said that Motorola's success shows the impact of online purchasing, with 48 percent of the device's sales occurring online.

"It highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market. The same pattern can be seen in France with Wiko, which has 8.3 percent share, and Xiaomi in China with 18.5 percent," he said.

"With virtually no existing customers to sell to in Britain, the Moto G has stolen significant numbers of low-mid end customers from Samsung and Nokia Lumia."

In the United States, Android has increased its share of sales by 3.9 percent compared to the same period last year, and LG has moved up to become the third largest manufacturer, thanks to sales of the LG G2. Kantar said that LG had the highest customer recommendation figures for any new handset in the past three months, ahead of the iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The report also showed that Japan's love affair with iOS continues, but heat has been slightly removed with iOS down 13.8 percent to 54.9 percent compared to January's figures, and Android increasing its sales share by 14.3 percent to 44.8 percent.

While movement has been seen in other areas across the globe, Australia continues in much the same area that it has since September last year: iOS commands 33.9 percent of sales, Android claims 58.5 percent, Windows Phone continues its slow decline on 5 percent. The big mover in Australia, by relative measurements, was Blackberry. The troubled Canadian phone manufacturer more than doubled its smartphone sales share to 0.7 percent, but that result is less than half of the 1.6 percent of sales that Blackberry boasted of in October last year.

An chance that Motorola has to shake up the Australian market in the same manner as in the UK will be seen in the coming months, following the Moto G's January launch in Australia.

Motorola was recently purchased by Lenovo  in January of this year for US$2.91 billion from former parent Google.