back to article Pre-Xmas phone numbers: Apple slips, Windows Phone grabs 1 in 10 new sales

Microsoft's smartphone gains in Europe haven't been matched in the world's two biggest markets, the USA and China, according to the latest Kantar tech panel. The survey shows Windows Phone maintaining 10 per cent of new sales across the five biggest European markets in the three months ending in November - and Windows Phones …


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  1. Simon Rockman

    It's all about national pride

    Nokia, even in the strongest of its years, never had the presence in the US that it did in the rest of the world.

    Neither the Nokia or Microsoft brands will warm the hearts of the Chinese, but the Microsoft/Windows brands will appeal to Americans. It's a very simple decision for them. Use the Nokia brand in China - where at least the distribution gives them the edge. Strongly use the Nokia brand in India (where the word "Nokia" is a colloquialism for mobile phone: "I'll call you on your Nokia", even if the phone is a Samsung), but push the Nokia name right to the back in the US and promote the Microsoft name. Even on the S40 phones.

    This regionalism is completely normal. Look at how - when there were plenty of players - Ericsson dominated Sweden, Siemens Germany and Sendo the UK. Hmm, perhaps not that one.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Credibility = none

    MS's strongpoint was the desktop.

    Nokia's strongpoint was the Cellphone.

    The public at large, don't care about either anymore, so MS + Nokia have nothing really left to offer in this market. Neither of them offer any "streetcred" which is what people want/need ( Yes, it's pathetic but that is the result of endless years of adverstising).

    MS + Nokia + Smartphone market = A drowning horse flailing about in a sea of modicum...

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Credibility = none

      Some credibility I think. I was watching Sherlock with his shiny new iPhone 5 (well, not shiny, was black), as expected (previously has an iPhone 4). But, then, the other end of the call was Mycroft, known by all to be the smarter of the two, including by Sherlock himself; what phone was he using? A Nokia Lumia 920.

      I don't watch a great deal of UK TV but saw a Silent Witness immediately afterward and the protagonist of that episode got phone calls from a kidnapper and his phone was centre stage, full screen indeed. It was another Lumia, something red along the 820 lines I think. A little strange given the income of the character but I think they wanted a Red phone (he was a footballer playing in Red) and they had a Red one laying around. I also got the feeling that there may have been product-placement at work.

      Anyway, two of the better shows using nice Nokia phones suggests someone is happy to use them.

      Add the Surfaces all over the place in Grey's Anatomy and CSI as well as WinPhones in Bones and the sharp-eyed can see them often enough.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Credibility = none


        You do know what the concept of "product placement" means ?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Credibility = none

        And of course, as in "The Island" they used a "MSN Search", it now should be the main search engine in the world, right?

        Please, look up "product placement" one of these days.

      3. Richard Plinston

        Re: Credibility = none

        > Sherlock with his shiny new iPhone 5 [...] Mycroft [...] Nokia Lumia 920.

        And the message was: Sherlock is cool, Mycroft is associated with the 'evil empire'.

        > I think they wanted a Red phone

        That does explain the sales of the 520: "I want the pink one. What's an OS? Anyway, it is cheap.".

  3. c:\boot.ini

    If surface is as good as this fellow says, why do sales not pick up ?

    When will LibreOffice/OpenOffice get their act together, freeze new features and decide to fix the last bugs there are - MS say that their life-support is Office, I wanna see Office market share slide like IE's!

  4. hammarbtyp

    Market Share vs Profit?

    It doesn't really surprise me. I was tempted by the Lumia 520 because basically at that price point there was nothing remotely similar in terms of performance in the android side. There was a big gap in the market between the low end android clones and the galaxies etc.

    But I kept vacillating because I really did not want to commit to windows 8 mainly because I have little faith i n MS ability to support the product long term.

    Then came the Moto G, which had the right price and right performance and my dilemma was solved.

    However it is difficult to see how you can make a comparable phone for less £100 so if the 520 is going for £70(and I haven't seen it at that price) then MS are almost certainly taking a big hit to gain market share.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Market Share vs Profit?

      How long do you keep a phone for? How long would you need it to be supported? Personally I would trust MS over Google when it comes to supporting things in the long term, or at least in the term that you would be expected to require a device to live.

      1. hammarbtyp

        Re: Market Share vs Profit?

        I don't think you can apply MS PC windows track record here. They have already switched direction once when the original windows phone went from 7 to 8.

        I am still not convinced everyone in the organisation is still on message as to strategy and if the phone business fails to grow and continues to lose money there will be a push to divest itself of the phone business and go back to the safe money cows of office, PC's and servers.

        What they need to do is to move away from everything needs a PC philosophy and treat mobiles(and tablets) as what they really are and that is cloud devices which do not need ever connect with the big iron lump sitting on your desk at home. They also need wider support outside Nokia to drive innovation and take up. Google have been far better at doing that than MS due to there nature.

        If Nokia is given the freedom they may do it, but so often the big beasts in the organisation(Desktop and Servers) call the tunes and will protect their fiefdoms

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Market Share vs Profit?

          Windows 7 phones are still supported, it's not like they ceased operating when 8 came out, my partner has one and is perfectly happy with it. Just because old handsets can't be updated to newer software which requires beefier hardware doesn't mean that the old handsets are no longer supported. I couldn't update my old XP machine to Vista, but it didn't mean that it wasn't supported.

          1. Richard Plinston

            Re: Market Share vs Profit?

            > Just because old handsets can't be updated to newer software which requires beefier hardware doesn't mean that the old handsets are no longer supported.

            WM6.x was dead-end when WP7 apps did not run on WM6.5. WP8 apps do not run on WP7. So what do you mean by 'supported' ?

            1. cambsukguy

              Re: Market Share vs Profit?

              WP8-only apps don't run on WP7 of course but, where WP8-only apps exist, there is usually a WP7 version of the app.

              Exceptions include where push messaging is absolutely required (Skype still exists for WP7 but is less useful for instance) and games that require some of the graphics and dual-core stuff only WP8 has (not sure what games because I never play them).

              WP7.8 is as good as the hardware of any existing WP7 is going to get - it is completely stable and there are tons of apps. To this extent it is supported in that no-one makes WP7 phones anymore.

              And since, unlike XP (and Android apparently), there is no need for Anti-Virus software or malware protection, WP7 requires no further updates.

              If my phone never gets another update it will still be a great phone. The fact that another update is imminent bringing RAW support for pictures (mainly for Lumia 1020 owners) and various small tweaks is just icing on the cake.

              1. Gerhard Mack

                Re: Market Share vs Profit?

                "And since, unlike XP (and Android apparently), there is no need for Anti-Virus software or malware protection, WP7 requires no further updates."

                Nothing (including windows phone) is 100% secure and any phone not getting security updates will eventually become a malware magnet.

      2. Richard Plinston

        Re: Market Share vs Profit?

        > when it comes to supporting things in the long term,

        Microsoft dumped WM6.x and replaced it with a completely incompatible WP7. They then dead-ended that when WP8 was totally incompatible. So twice in recent years users have been left with obsolete devices and you trust MS ?

    2. cambsukguy

      Re: Market Share vs Profit?

      WP requires less CPU power and less battery power to do the same job so it is easier to make a slick-looking item than Android.

      Throw in the free mapping/navigation system along with free streaming music etc. and £70 is such good value that my kid will definitely get one if I can pry the Lumia 800 out of his hands.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't follow the analyst's "logic"

    He says Microsoft will have to choose between the USA and China? Really? Because all the Microsoft employees and 32,000 Nokia employees aren't able to market WP8 devices in both places at the same time?

    It would be pretty embarrassing if this was true, and the combination of mighty Microsoft and (formerly) mighty Nokia isn't able to handle the two largest markets in the world at the same time.

    Perhaps the analyst is looking to blame the inevitable failure of WP8 devices in China on Microsoft not "trying" to market there? It sounds like the price is right, but for those prices and less you can get Chinese Androids that go to a Chinese app store and have Baidu built in instead of Bing, etc. Those who have money to spend are much more likely to buy more popular devices like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S.

  6. Byz

    So this is a waste of time

    "but the fourth quarter is traditionally Apple's strongest, and the three-month period didn't include a full three months of iPhone 5S and 5C sales"

    So given that many people buy Christmas gifts in the three week before, what is the point of drawing conclusions?

    Such as "Android claimed 55.7 per cent of the market, and iOS 30.6 per cent, with Windows Phone at 10 per cent".

    Since you don't have all the data, absolutely a waste of time!!!

    Once all the data is collected then give the figures

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: So this is a waste of time

      I read that as meaning that although iOS was available for the whole quarter, the 5S and 5C were released October/November, so were only on sale for party of it.

      As always, though, phone sale figures (like anything) are an odd statistic that don't tell that much of a story (what about returns, price point, etc.).

  7. VirtAl

    What do we know that America doesn't?

    It has been my experience over the years that Europeans (both as individuals and corporate) are more willing to adopt new or different technologies and are generally ahead of the curve. In the past I was an iPhone user and an Android (S3) user and have recently switched to a Nokia Window phone. I can honestly say, the Windows OS is the nicest to use for general purpose smartphone functions. While some argue there is a lack of apps, the vast majority of my business and personal needs are met by the existing store and new apps are being ported or developed all the time. I have also noticed that while many apps available for Android and iPhone look and function more or less identically, the Windows Phone version has been re-imagined to take advantage of the native features of the OS. With the release of GDR3 later this month and with the 8.1 version due early summer, the Windows Phone platform is going from strength to strength

  8. James 51

    The 1020 is the shiney, only windows phone I would consider at the moment (purely for the pureview).

    1. VirtAl

      I have the 1020. It is very very good. Don't discount the OS itself. I was an Apple and Android user, but having switched to a Windows Phone, I could not be happier with it. The OS is well designed, and while it does lack the odd feature or two, these are all being addressed in Q1 and Q2 this year with GDR3 and 8.1.

  9. Tachikoma

    My partner has a Windows phone, and other than some app shortages it's not a bad smartphone for the price. Certainly more than good enough for someone who isn't into techie stuff and just wants to use it for social media.

    I think the app-mad days are waning a bit, where people had to have as many novelty apps as possible on their phones. I know over the years I re-install less and less apps as time goes by and it is now at the point where it wouldn't matter if my next phone was iOS, Android or WP. About the only thing on my wishlist for a new phone in a few months is a decent camera with slow motion/time lapse video recording.

  10. Jess

    If Windows can bounce back, why can't BlackBerry?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't see why it wouldn't be able to, but it would require Blackberry to start actually marketing their product and be in it for the long term, as appears to be happening with MS. However, I suspect that Blackberry are bowing out of the hardware/handsets fight and concentrating on software and services.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft has more pies and more fingers in them.

      They can use successful product ranges to support less successful product ranges. If your only product is tanking you have nothing to prop it up with.

      1. Richard Plinston

        > They can use successful product ranges to support less successful product ranges.

        That is why countries have anti-trust laws:

        """ A company with large cash reserves can dictate the price of their products and they may use predatory pricing to stifle competition and force them out of business."""

  11. Roger Greenwood

    "kindle some (or any) interest"

    Interesting use of the word "kindle" there, made me think of something else.

  12. Buzzword

    Apple grabs 9 in 10 used sales

    Apple's fiercest competitor is itself: people don't always buy the latest and shiniest new iPhone 5S because they can pick up a two year old iPhone 4S second hand for much less. First sales matter most to Apple, but even the second-hand sales are useful because those second customers will go out and buy iTunes / App Store content. Also, as long as they're buying used iPhones, they remain in the Apple ecosystem and are more likely to buy other Apple gadgets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple grabs 9 in 10 used sales

      "Apple's fiercest competitor is itself: people don't always buy the latest and shiniest new iPhone 5S because they can pick up a two year old iPhone 4S second hand for much less. "

      Pre-iPhone everyone upgraded to a newer phone when they had the chance. Now people are so blinded by the shiny that they upgrade to an old phone! And it really is old! Even the 5s is old. It's the grandad of phones.

      Hardly fashionistas, well I suppose they are, they're just wearing flares and kipper ties. Move on people your messiah is dead.

      1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

        Re: Apple grabs 9 in 10 used sales

        "Move on people your messiah is dead."

        But where should we move onto pray. Surely you don't suggest we go back to using yesteryears clunky -screen refresh rate challenged- 32 bit phones?

  13. jubtastic1

    $70 windows phones

    Whether this was a shrewd move to expose WP to an indifferent market or a big fucking money pit will only be revealed when they raise the prices back up and those punters stick around or jump ship to another cheap phone.

    In the meantime its just buying customers.

    EDIT, lol I'm back on the naughty list.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Different markets

    One major difference between UK and USA is we get fairly inexpensive PAYG or entry level contracts. Light usage mobile here works out < £10/month when factor in hardware costs for a phone like the 520, much more suitable for many individuals that a > £30/month + contract plus upfront charge for a 5s, S4 or similar premium phone. Our friends in the US don't have these lower cost options, the carriers largely work in concert to keep users on their equivalent of our expensive contracts.

    The Nokia 520 is proving popular at the moment with kids at my sons school for the simple reasons its inexpensive to run and doesn't come with the stress of carrying a £500 iPhone or S4 around to be broken or stolen in the rough and tumble of teenage life.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One minute these analysts looks at the raw numbers then it's market share - guess it depends which helps prove their anal-ysis ;) It also does not take into account the growth of the market as a whole and the fact that these days (almost) every phone is considered a smartphone.

    Suspect what has really happened is that the market has grown significantly and mainly at the lower end - before claiming bad news for iOS would probably be better to look at sales of iPhones against the previous 12 months.

  16. Oh Homer

    Ten Percent?

    That seems barely credible. Whoever this ten percent are, I've yet to meet any of them.

    I suspect we're dealing with the Microsoft definition of "sales" here.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Ten Percent?

      10pc of sales in a quarter of a year. Average lifetime of a phone? certainly years. Total number of WPs? obviously considerably less than 10%, perhaps 3%?

      I have certainly seen enough to believe that. Obviously, if a lot of the sales are 520s at the bottom of the pile, then you would also have to frequent the same locations as low-end-phone users also. This may well include people who could afford much more but don't but likely includes lots of schoolchildren and folks with much less money.

      I am not saying that you are, as a Reg reader, of middle-class wealth or more but, in general, I would expect a Reg reader to see fewer low end phones amongst his/her peers. For instance, I rarely see any iPhone model prior to the iPhone 4 amongst people I know, likewise, all the Androids seems to be Galaxy S3/S4, Notes etc. with no sign of the venerable S2.

      None-the-less, if you travel in anything but your own car all the time, I am surprised you don't see them, I see them often.

      Unless you live somewhere other than the UK of course.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Ten Percent?

      Someone I know finally got one, so I've finally actually seen one in real life.

      Thing is, it's not the phone he chose when the carrier made him "an offer he couldn't refuse". Maybe all the better options really were out of stock and it wasn't just a marketing subsidy. He seems quite happy with it but the tariff was the important thing, any usable phone would have done.

      Microsoft aren't just selling them cheap, they're giving them away.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should do market share by value not volume - it's easy shifting heavily subsidies phones - perhaps even at a loss. The majority of Windows phones I have seen are things like the 520 - i.e. very cheap.

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