Windows Phone gains share in Europe but dips slightly in the US

lumia-iconAccording to Kantar WorldPanel, Windows Phone is growing modestly across Europe, but seems stuck in the US due to carrier exclusivity and the duopoly the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line hold.  The latest figures represent the sales of the four major mobile operating systems in the three months ending April 2014 compared to the same time last year.

Looking at the charts indicates that Europe is Windows Phone’s strongest market and has been showing steady growth, despite the absence of new handset releases.  When the purchase of Nokia’s mobile division by Microsoft was announced 8 months ago, which just received approval to go through last month, Nokia has significantly cut down on advertising and it’s been showing in the last two quarters’ sales numbers.  Windows Phone’s numbers, although increasing when comparing results year-over-year, have dipped slightly quarter over quarter.  Nevertheless, Europe has been much more welcoming to Windows Phone than the US.

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Windows Phone’s best market in Europe look to be Italy, where it has been in second place and surpassing iOS since August 2013, but has recently been overtaken and is currently behind iOS which is at 13.4% compared to Windows Phone 11.8%. In the UK, Windows Phone is currently at 9.5%, while in France and Germany it’s at 10.1% and 6.9% respectively.

aa6China has been a very tough market for Windows Phone as it only holds 0.8% of smartphone sales. Although China is a massive market, it seems to have gone with Android which now hold almost 80% of sales. Nokia’s X Android based devices which run on Microsoft services could possibly do something to gain Microsoft share in the future, but Windows Phone has proven to be a tough sell to the Chinese.

aa4However, the US has not been kind to Windows Phone recently – it experienced a slight dip to 4.6% compared to the year before where it was at 5.6%. Nokia hasn’t released a true flagship device since its Lumia 920 in late 2012, and the Lumia 1020 has been around since last July, being exclusive only to AT&T.

Although Nokia released the Lumia 1520 on AT&T this past fall, it hasn’t been well accepted due to its massive screen size at 6″. Nokia’s Lumia Icon, which was the only major Windows Phone release this year, and available exclusively on Verizon, had little fighting chance fending off Apple’s new iPhone 5s and the recent release of Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Windows Phone being exclusive to certain carriers at certain times has proven to be holding the platform back in the US, however, now that Microsoft gains ownership of Nokia’s mobile division, things are set to change. We expect the change to be positive as Microsoft has lots of marketing muscle it can flex and a stronger brand name in the US than Nokia does.

With Windows Phone 8.1 update starting to roll out this June, and the positive reviews it’s been receiving, along with Microsoft’s strategy to drop licencing fees with Windows Phones to OEM’s, we expect things to be more positive later this year as new flagship models are set to be released.  Nokia will be releasing the Lumia 630 and 930 soon and it should bring more positive momentum, but it wont’ be until this November that we expect to see multiple flagship devices from Samsung, HTC, possibly Sony and of course Microsoft.

Microsoft has just recently acquired Nokia’s mobile division and we expect to see major changes in marketing strategies along with much bigger funding to jump start Windows Phones growth.

Source: Kantar WorldPanel

Microsoft Leads Business Software Market Share, up 12%

top5_software_vendors_2013The leading provider of global market intelligence, data giant International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that Microsoft extended its dominance in global enterprise software market last year.

The overall enterprise software market grew by 5.5% in 2013 – worth $369 billion (1.2% increase compared to 2012). “Sales last year benefited from a recovery in Europe and continued above-average growth in the U.S.”, IDC said in the report.

Microsoft emerged as the market leader with $65.6 billion in revenue, a 12.2% increase from previous year. Microsoft’s market share rose to 17.8% (up from 16.7% previous year) with IBM trailing with 8% market share. Other notables in the top five include Oracle, SAP and Symantec, according to the IDC report.

IDC tabulated software revenue from three primary segments: applications, application development and deployment, and systems infrastructure software.

Among the three segments, application development and deployment, which comprised nearly 23% of total software revenue in 2013, had the fastest growth with a 5.6% year-over-year gain. Oracle led this segment with market share of 21.5%, followed by IBM and Microsoft.

In the applications software segment, which comprised 50% of total software revenue and grew 5.5%, Microsoft led the field with a 14% share. It was followed by SAP, Oracle and IBM.

Microsoft’s annual revenue for 2013 was just north of $80 billion, this means that around $15 billion came from the consumer segment which includes, Xbox, Surface and other hardware related products.  It shows that Microsoft’s bread and butter is the business market.

Sources: Brian Deagon, Investor’s Business Daily & Big Data and Analytics, Collaborative Applications, and System Software Drove Enterprise Software Growth in 2013, According to IDC


Windows Tablets take 6% market Share



Microsoft got into this new generation of mobile devices very late, well…to be fair they started the mobile space with their tablets and Windows Mobile phones. Hardware wasn’t ready for these types of devices in the early 2000’s, they were bulky, capacitive touch wasn’t available, they had poor battery life while being extremely expensive. In 2007 Apple changed the landscape with the release of the Iphone and the release of the Ipad in 2009, Android followed soon with Microsoft’s PC model, in which OEM’s license and install it on their own devices.

Microsoft started with Windows Phone in 2010 and Windows 8 in 2012, many years after IOS and Android became established mobile OS’s in the market, Microsoft is paying the price now and playing catch-up to its competitors. Once a mighty giant amongst its rivals Apple and Google, who were knocking on the door years ago but couldn’t reach the handle to open it, now they grew so big that they completely smashed the door and started to occupy.

According to Strategy Analytics Windows powered tablets captured 6% of global tablet share in Q1 2014, that would equate to roughly 3.5million tablets. Android remains on top with a commanding 66% global share while Apple’s IOS fell to 28%.

Microsoft is fighting back with its recent announcement to give Windows away for free on tablets 9” or smaller, this may provide a major uptick in share due to the OS being free now. Microsoft’s still doesn’t offer its own sub 9” tablet to compete with Apples Ipad Mini and Androids offerings, with the rumoured release of the Surface Mini being sometime in May ,we could see the tablet landscape start to shift more positively for Microsoft.

Total shipments of tablets reached 57.6million unit globally in Q1 2014, up 19% from 48.3 million in Q1 of 2013. Android climbs steadily and commands two-thirds of the market, while Apple managed to ship 16.4 million Ipads, Strategy Analytics believes that Apples iOS platform will continue to lose share over the next few months to refreshed Android devices, but to eventually make a comeback during final months of the calendar.

It will be interesting to see how these tech giants try to make progress in this growing tablet market, and what Microsoft can do to catch up to its rivals. In the past Microsoft used its commanding presence and balance sheet to overcome for being late to the market, and still managed to crush competition, such as Corel’s Word perfect, the famous Netscape Navigator and AOL’s messaging service. It has been said that Microsoft innovates best when playing catch-up, but times have changed and its competitors grew unexpectedly fast and powerful, not only having a commanding lead in market share, but they command the mindshare amongst consumers.  What can Microsoft do to overcome this?