Windows Phone Gains, BlackBerry Falls Flat In Latest Kantar Figures

1 April 2013, 3:37 pm EDT By Vamien McKalin Mobile & Apps
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Windows Phone got off to bad start when the devices first went on sale in the fourth quarter of 2010; however, things seem to be improving, all at the expense of BlackBerry.

In its first 12 months of availability, Windows Phone saw relatively decent growth in U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, Italy and Mexico, but growth in other countries worldwide was poor at best, which kept the platform far behind market leaders such as Android and iOS.

That could change though, as new findings by Kantar for the three-month period ending on Feb. 13 were released. Let's take a look at what Kantar has found thus far, and what are the reasons for Windows Phone newfound success.

In the United States, Windows Phone has inched its way past BlackBerry to become the third ecosystem. This is mainly due to the platform growing from 2.7 percent to 4.1 percent — a small growth of 1.4 percent, but still enough to give Windows Phone a presence in the U.S. On the other hand, BlackBerry's market share fell from 3.7 percent, to 0.7 percent in the three months leading up to February. That's a huge loss, one that might not be easily retrievable despite the availabity of the BlackBerry Z10.

UK numbers are a little different, though the end result is the same. Windows Phone is ahead in third position, while BlackBerry continues to lose market share. Currently, Windows Phone's share in the UK is at 6.7 percent, up from 6.2 percent, while BlackBerry is at 5.1 percent, down from 5.8 percent.

Global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Dominic Sunnebo, said the following:

"The launch of the BlackBerry Z10 has not resulted in an immediate turn around for the Canadian company in Great Britain. Although the new model received great reviews, it's going to take time for BlackBerry to see share gains. Consumers just don't have the same levels of pent up demand for the handset as they did for the iPhone 5."

"Over the past few years it has been BlackBerry's budget devices, like the Curve 8520 and 9320, which have been selling well and these attract a young, price sensitive consumer. The Z10 is a high-end handset with a price to match, so going after its existing base of consumers will require a significant trade up. The handset is likely to start selling in more serious numbers once the launch price falls, and BlackBerry 10 in general, when the range is padded out with a number of wallet-friendly mid-range offerings."

Windows Phone's newfound success can be attributed largely to Nokia's contribution with the Lumia line of smartphones. The giant from Finland is the only OEM giving Windows Phone the support it needs, and if the company can continue down the path of releasing great high-end devices such as the Lumia 920 and low-end handsets such as the Lumia 620, 2013 could be a splendid year for the platform.

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