SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system is slowly increasing its market share in the UK, while Apple edges closer to archrival Samsung.
That's according to the latest numbers from research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, which show that Microsoft's Windows Phone has increased its UK market share from 2.2 percent to 5.9 percent in the past 12 months. The mobile operating system is doing even better in countries such as Italy, where it boasts a 13.9 percent market share.
However, it's fair to say that Microsoft's Windows Phone is still miles behind iOS and Android, which hold 32.4 and 54.4 percent of the smartphone market, respectively. The not so popular Blackberry, Symbian and Bada operating systems respectively hold just 6.4 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.1 percent of the market.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel Comtech said, "At the end of 2012 the global OS picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it experienced over the past year is beginning to slow as easy wins from first time smartphone buyers begin to reduce.
"It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries."
"However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013."
Kantar Worldpanel Comtech has also revealed that Apple is edging closer to rival Samsung, with each firm clinging to 32 percent and 35 percent of the smartphone market, respectively. Given that Samsung had a much healthier lead this time last year, these numbers seem to suggest that Apple's iPhone 5 has sold better than rumours had indicated. However, all will be revealed during Apple's quarterly earnings call tomorrow.
Apple and Samsung could soon have a third challenger on their hands, though, as research also shows that Nokia's sales are improving in the UK smartphone market. Sales of the firm's smartphones have increased 50 percent year-on-year, putting the firm's market share at 5.2 percent.
Sunnebo added, "Among the handset manufacturers, Samsung has held onto the number one spot in Britain, claiming 35 [percent] of smartphone sales, although Apple is now biting at its heels with 32 [percent]. Nokia is experiencing something of a turnaround in Britain with its smartphone sales share at 6.2 [percent] and actual sales growing by over 50 [percent] compared with last year.
"Meanwhile, Blackberry continues to find trading tough in the run up to the Blackberry 10 release; however, its 9320 handset gave it a boost over Christmas with two-thirds bought as gifts."
We're guessing that there were a lot of unhappy kids this Christmas. µ