The latest Kantar Worldpanel Smartphone global share data reporting on new device sales week ending 10th June 2012 vs prior year have shown a significant (statistical) rise in Windows Phone share of new handset sales. Coming off the platforms very low base, it is clear that Nokia’s debut and Marketing/Sales efforts are beginning to finally deliver some traction for Windows phone – after months of languishing sales data through 2011. With the full range of Lumia devices (610, 710, 800 & 900) all now for sale, it will be interesting to see if this number holds up in the release of the next months data from Kantar due shortly – especially following the recent Windows Phone 8 announcement.
Windows Phone has been an award-winning mobile smartphone operating system, with its clean and innovative design stylings, live tiles and integrated social media. It has maintained extremely high user-satisfaction levels in its first (almost) two years in the market and attracted a vocal user base for its various strengths. However critical success has not translated well into commercial success. Following Microsoft’s “soft-launch” strategy in 2010, WP’s relative lack of competitive marketing by OEM’s, Telco’s and Microsoft itself versus other fast selling platforms (namely Android) has seen it struggle to gain any real sales momentum prior to Nokia’s Lumia arrival in Australia.
In fact, this slow uptake has gone onto hurt the Windows Phone platform in terms of enterprise and government apps (more on this in a forthcoming article) development for Australian customers. As a quick list, here’s how badly the platform suffers on just a small cross-section of common major company/service “official” Apps in Australia:
- Telcos: No 24×7 Telstra support App, no call usage apps from Telcos other than Vodafone’s recent App
- Video Streaming Apps: No Foxtel, Telstra, Vodafone or other AU streaming video services for WP.
- Banking: Of the 4 major banks, CBA only official mobile banking app since launch. NAB coming next week. Nothing from Westpac or ANZ. Also some m.mobile banking sites have not worked with WP!
- Essential services Apps: None known, except for recent VIC CFA Fire App and Taxi Cab Apps.
- Official Government Apps: None known.
- Official Aussie News/Entertainment Apps (TV Stations, Newspapers, Radio etc): Basically none.
- Major Retailer Apps (eg Coles, Woolworths, Myer, HN, DSE etc): None known.
- Major Australian Transport Apps: Qantas…and ?
- etc etc etc
That’s a pretty concerning summary – and is reflective of the ROI-based approach most large companies have taken on a platform like Windows Phone, which has been tracking since launch at estimates of <2% market share of smartphone sales in Australia (and globally). Importantly, this is not to take away from the excellent efforts of independent and private business Dev’s in Australia (Like Handiware, publisher of our WP7 official App) - pushing upwards of 2,000 Apps into the 100K+ total currently in the global Windows Phone marketplace, with clever games and innovative service, entertainment and informational apps. WPDownUnder will continue to promote your efforts via Developed Down Under – and the associated campaign App via our WPDDU Dev partner – Niall at mobilewares.net!
Kantar Worldpanel are one of the main global research companies focusing on smartphone sales data and analysis. Their website states:
“Kantar Worldpanel is the world leader in consumer knowledge and insights based on continuous consumer panels. Combining market monitoring, advanced analytics and tailored market research solutions we deliver both the big picture and the fine detail that inspire successful actions by our clients.” Link.
Checking over some of their historical market share estimations for Australia – back in DEC 2010 (just after the Aussie and global Windows Phone launch) they report WP share of new device sales as being ~1%. Moving on, as NoDo arrived and Gen 1.5/2 handsets began arriving, their April 2011 estimate had moved up to ~1.9%. 12 months later, and only weeks into the launch of Nokia’s Lumia 800 and 710 in the Australian market and this share of national new smartphone sales had yet to see any significant rise (in actual fact had slipped slightly!)
However, the May-June period, and results released by Kantar in July confirmed that Australian Windows Phone sales now made up almost 5% of new devices sold, versus the same period 12 months earlier of 2.1%! This certainly shows the largest reported jump in share for Windows Phone to-date. Furthermore, Australia is reporting the 2nd highest overall share of Windows Phone new device sales in this period of all markets, higher than the US, Great Britain etc AND the 2nd highest overall share as a % of new sales!
Here’s just a few of the factors that WPDownUnder belive have helped contribute to this jump:
- Increased availability of Nokia Lumia devices (the widest range of retail stores and carriers yet for WP)
- The highest levels of marketing and promotion for Windows Phone yet seen in Australia, both leading to
- Improved competition and pressure on prices, pushing wholesale and retail Lumia prices down.
- Far better (could it have got worse?) telco training and staff sales support on WP thanks to Nokia.
- Broader-reaching social media positive word-of-mouth on the WP platform and esp. Nokia Lumia devices.
- A slowing in iFruit handsets as the market await the new iFruit5 device.
- Improving enterprise take-up of WP (replacing Winmobile, Symbian and other mobile OS)
- Some growing iOS and Android (small admittedly) dissatisfaction and trying alternatives.
Interestingly, see for yourself how many of our earlier predicted “shot in the arms” that Windows Phone in Australia needed have now taken place – by reading our earlier (Jan 2012) editorial on just this: HERE.
Of course, all these gains will be tested in coming months data by whether the Windows Phone 8 announcement (that the new OS version won’t be coming to current gen devices) along with how well WP8 bridges some of the gaps to the latest competing devices (hi-res display, expandable storage, improved gaming etc) and how soon devices come to market in Australia.
However, it’s worth pausing and giving some kudos to Nokia Australia for their strong Lumia handset range, easily the best, most affordable and diverse range of Windows Phones of all that were made in pre-WP8 generations. And with recognition of this meaningful sales increases and share growth - the Top-End of Town in Australia needs to end their indecision over Windows Phone. Like the NAB recently, who listened to their vocal customer feedback and have announced a new WP7 mobile banking up – it is no longer good enough for other major companies to ignore your growing Windows Phone customer base.
Windows Phone is the clear 3rd major mobile OS in the marketplace today. By % change, it is the fastest growing mobile OS behind Android in the Australian marketplace right now! It has begun its ascent after a slow start with little retail fanfare or support - and with WP8 coming is poised to deliver fantastic new devices and capabilities. Now is the time to be planning your Apps, partnering with external Dev’s or directing your internal App teams to up-skill on Windows Phone. It won’t be hard, as the WP7 Dev experience and ecosystem is 2nd to none for tools and support.
There are no more excuses. Get on board with Windows Phone Down Under, NOW! – Then come see us about advertising to your target market, our audience!
Share Data from Kantar:
|Kantar Worldpanel Data||12 w/e 12||12 w/e 10|
|Ju n 2011||Ju n 2012||Ch a n ge||Ch a n ge|
|Symb i a n||7.6||1.8||-5.8||-76%|
|Wi n 7||1.7||3.7||2||118%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||1||0.4||-0.6||-60%|
|An d ro i d||48.7||57.2||8.5||17%|
|Ba d a||1.2||0.4||-0.8||-67%|
|Oth e r||0.3||0.4||0.1|
|Ge rma n y||100.00%||100.00%||0||0|
|Symb i a n||24.8||5.6||-19.2||-77%|
|Wi n 7||5.4||5.4||0||0%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||0.9||1.4||0.5||56%|
|An d ro i d||41.3||68.5||27.2||66%|
|Ba d a||4.1||0.6||-3.5||-85%|
|Oth e r||1.7||0.8||-0.9|
|Fra n ce||100.00%||100.00%||0||0|
|Symb i a n||20.4||4.2||-16.2||-79%|
|Wi n 7||1.6||2.5||0.9||56%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||1.5||0.2||-1.3||-87%|
|An d ro i d||37.5||58.8||21.3||57%|
|Ba d a||11.2||8.4||-2.8||-25%|
|Oth e r||0||1.8||1.8|
|I ta l y||100.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0|
|Symb i a n||38.9||16.1||-22.8||-59%|
|Wi n 7||0.9||3.6||2.7||300%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||4.3||2.6||-1.7||-40%|
|An d ro i d||25.3||49.6||24.3||96%|
|Ba d a||3.4||2.1||-1.3||-38%|
|Oth e r||0||0.3||0.3|
|Sp a i n||100.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0|
|Symb i a n||40.2||3.4||-36.8||-92%|
|Wi n 7||1.7||1.7||0||0%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||1.9||0.2||-1.7||-89%|
|An d ro i d||41.3||84.1||42.8||104%|
|Ba d a||0||0||0|
|Oth e r||0||0.2||0.2|
|Symb i a n||0.2||0.5||0.3||150%|
|Wi n 7||1.8||3||1.2||67%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||0.8||0.6||-0.2||-25%|
|An d ro i d||57||50.2||-6.8||-12%|
|Ba d a||0||0||0|
|Oth e r||2.7||3.8||1.1|
|Symb i a n||20.8||3.8||-17||-82%|
|Wi n 7||2.1||4.8||2.7||129%|
|Wi n Mo b i l e||0.6||1||0.4||67%|
|An d ro i d||36.4||56.9||20.5||56%|
|Ba d a||0.5||0||-0.5||-100%|
|Oth e r||0.5||2.9||2.4|