Microsoft’s hesitance to introduce new mobile devices as often as its competitors have been doing among other factors affecting its mobile platform may have contributed a lot to the dwindling fortunes of Windows Phone. According to the latest data covering the first quarter of the year from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android was the biggest beneficiary of the multitudes abandoning Microsoft’s mobile platform.
In Europe’s five biggest mobile markets i.e. Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, Android saw its fortunes boosted after gaining 75.6% market share. 6.6% of new users migrating to Android were from Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform which was higher than the 2.6% that opted to move to Apple’s iOS instead. As a result, Windows Phone saw its market share shrink from nearly 10% to just 4.9% in Europe’s big five mobile markets.
The situation was replicated in the United States and China where Android registered gains of over 6 percentage points to see its market share stand at 65.5% and 77% respectively.
Preference for Android among users abandoning their Lumia smartphones was because of the variety the platform offered. Unlike Apple’s iOS which only has the iPhone, Android as a platform is the home of very many devices from various manufacturers at various price points. Budget devices from Huawei, Asus and Wiko were particularly a hit with the users in countries like Spain and Italy where Windows once had a market share of nearly 10%.
Even though Samsung introduced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the market within the first quarter of the year, it is mid-range devices, the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy J5 that were a hit with buyers in Great Britain where it continues its hold of the top Android smartphone brand spot.
The American market was more kind to Samsung’s 2016 flagship as well as last year’s Galaxy S6. The latter’s favourable sales numbers were as a result of price cuts and discounts in the wake of the Galaxy S7’s availability. Americans also seem to not have broken ranks with former American brand Motorola. Motorola saw its market share rise from 6.9% to 9.8% in the US. That may be the sign Motorola’s new overlords at Lenovo need before we get to see the next batch of Motorola smartphones which, as per the latest leaks, may not be far away.
Android’s gains in China came at the expense of iOS which saw a decline to 21.1% market share down from 26.1% around the same time last year. Android’s hold in Asia’s powerhouse was led by Huawei which saw its market share fall just shy of 25% in the populous nation it calls home. Two devices, the high-end Mate 8 and the budget Honor 5X are being attributed with Huawei’s success in China at a time when competitors like Oppo, which just broke into the list of top 5 smartphone vendors in the world, have been upping their game. The gains Android has made in the last quarter may be watered down by Apple’s latest device, the iPhone SE, Apple’s answer to the huge budget smartphone demand if it picks well.