Windows Phone sees strong growth in 2015

Windows Phone has experienced a strong start to 2015, with Microsoft’s mobile OS making significant gains in European markets.

The latest research from Kantar indicates that Windows Phone has grown in popularity across Q1 2015 when compared with 12 months previous, but it is difficult to determine what long term impact this will have on the operating system.

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The data shows that Windows Phone now has a 10.1 per cent market share across France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK, while Android penetration fell by three per cent across the same markets. In fact, Google’s open source OS experienced drops in a number of markets, with a fall of 5.1 per cent in France and 9.4 per cent in China.

Windows Phone has grown over the last twelve months and saw significant growth in countries including France and Australia. However, the OS has struggled to gain traction in the US, where it constitutes 4.8 per cent of the market, and in China, where that figure is just 0.8 per cent.

Apple’s iOS platform has, however, experience substantial gains across several countries, no doubt boosted by the launch of its flagship iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets late last year. In Europe, iOS now accounts for 20.9 per cent of the market and the operating system made up an all-time high of 27.6 per cent in urban China across the first three months of 2015.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldwide, explained that Apple’s growth is extending across the globe.

"There has been a strong appetite for Apple’s products in urban China seen since the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and this has continued into Chinese New Year. China Mobile’s subscribers accounted for 59 per cent of the 27.6 per cent volume share recorded by iOS in the latest period,” she said. “Across key global markets Apple’s momentum generally continued from last month, with market share gains in all markets except the US and Japan.”

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Microsoft will no doubt be delighted with Windows Phone’s growth, but will now have to determine how to maintain its momentum, while continuing to target its weaker markets.