Can Windows Phone upward momentum continue through 2014?

Can Windows Phone upward momentum continue through 2014?
Windows Phone's market share still places it a distant third behind the iOS and Android duopoly. But even with a small 3.6% share of the global smartphone market at the end of the third quarter, Windows Phone has been growing faster than the competition. In the five biggest European markets, the platform has a better than 8% slice of the smartphone pie. 

Things started turning for Windows Phone earlier in the year when Nokia and Microsoft started to heavily promote the low-light photography capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 920. Then, the entry-level Nokia Lumia 520 and its T-Mobile branded twin, the Nokia Lumia 521, started selling like hotcakes thanks to the low price retailers were charging for the phones. The last, and most important thing that happened to Windows Phone 8 in 2013 was the GDR3 update. This allowed manufacturers to start building Windows Phone powered  handsets that matched the most top-shelf Android phones spec for spec. For example, the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet offers a 6 inch screen with 1080 x 1920 resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 20MP PureView snapper on back. And the unannounced Nokia Lumia 929 aka Nokia Icon, is expected to have basically the same specs but with a 5 inch screen.

According to IDC, Windows Phone increased its global market share by 156% in the third quarter. That easily beat out the 51.3% year-over-year increase for Android and the 25.2% growth logged by iOS.  Microsoft has helped its cause by embracing the "fanboy" battles between iOS and Android. In a couple of television ads, the Redmond based software giant made Windows Phone users appear to be above the fray by not getting involved in silly battles between Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S users.

Blogger Paul Thurrott has noted that Windows Phone now has double the 1.7% market share of BlackBerry as the latter has shot itself in the foot. Before the beginning of the year, the spot after Android and iOS was up for grabs. BlackBerry and Windows Phone both were expected to fight for this slot. But after its successful 2013, Windows has left BlackBerry gasping for air. This means that in 2014, Microsoft will have its sights set on closing in on the top two places instead of looking back and worrying about BlackBerry.

The Windows Phone Store now has its own Instagram app, although it still trails the App Store and Google Play Store by a 5 to 1 ratio in the number of apps it offers. But developers will write for whichever platforms can give them a financial reward, which means we can expect Windows Phone to continue to receive popular apps. And now that things are shaping up to be a three-way battle in 2014, Microsoft isn't sitting back on its laurels. The Windows Phone 8.1 update will apparently bring the long desired notifications center and the Siri-esque virtual personal assistant Cortana to the platform.

Amid talk that Microsoft will drop the Live Tiles for a more Android styled home page, 2014 will see three capable platforms competing on a level playing field. The big winner? Consumers around the world.

source: WindowsSupersite via BGR

FEATURED VIDEO

43 Comments

43. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

Jroc74, the phone has two screens. The tiles and then the app list screen. according to Gartner, the Windows phone will beat out the iPhone in a few more years. They made this prediction a few years ago and have stayed with it. Already the windows phone is number two, beating the iPhone in a number of European countries. Despite the wish of Android users to see the windows phone die...it is not going to happen. ihavenoname, Google hated Microsoft long before the Scroogle campaign. Google is scared of Microsoft even more than they are of Apple. The problem for Google, for every windows phone, Google loses marketshare in search. That statement may seem laughable right now but a company can't stay complacent for too long. The times they are a changing...Microsoft will be a force to reckon with in smartphones and tablets.

36. tasior

Posts: 265; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

I think that the growth of WP is over. The reason it grew in Europe is that people were used to Nokia. In 2013 those people were switching from Symbian. Some went for Android or IOS, but many reached for new Nokia, that happen to be Windows. The transition is over and so is the WP growth...

34. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

The Windows phone beats Android and the iPhone and the world is starting to catch on. When I show my phone to Android and iPhone users they start to drool. They can't believe what the are seeing. The momentum will continue and grow. Pretty soon the Press will not be able to ignore it despite all efforts to ignore the phone and wishing Microsoft dies. Go Microsoft!

35. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

How nice of you to share your fever dreams with us. Meanwhile, in reality, Microsoft continues to act like Steve Ballmer, making the rest of us raise our middle fingers in salute to it.

42. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

You forgot the sarcasm tag.... WP is nice n all, but I really think they need to have more than 1 screen. Let the Live Tiles be the home screen, and have 5-7 extra screens for either more Live Tiles to be added and/or a traditional setup like Android, iOS, Win Mo. Cuz no matter what ppl say.....if you have lots of apps with Live Tile setups.....that screen becomes a long scrolling list.

30. Snoobab

Posts: 175; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Android on my Galaxy S4 is SO damn disjoint! Windows Phone 8 is an absolute pleasure in comparison.

29. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

I just find the OS incredibly boring and has no where near as many features as android or iOS...i certainly won the buying another one!

27. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

From article title, it's almost suggested it's going to go downward at some point soon. This I do not see. However explosive or even stampeding growth, I do not see either. I think they'll just hold their own for time being. Doesn't really deserve more then that IMO.

18. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

It's growing and will grow.

17. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

Windows Phone is making quite a splash this year and it should get better. They may not have the type of popularity that Android had when they started, but I see some similarities between them

14. GeekMovement unregistered

Even if Windows Phone is growing so quickly and improving its OS, the other two OS, Android and iOS, are also improving a lot with each update so it's not going to be an easy competition for Windows Phone to just quickly grab more market share. Still, I am glad that they are climbing to a solid 3rd platform and do believe they will continue to grow if Microsoft doesn't mess it up and Nokia continues to deliver great products (because there wouldn't be competition for windows phone without Nokia). I love how there are more different OS to choose from.

33. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

"Even if Windows Phone is growing so quickly and improving its OS, the other two OS, Android and iOS, are also improving a lot with each update so it's not going to be an easy competition for Windows Phone to just quickly grab more market share." Exactly. The reason BB, Win Mo and Palm dropped so dramatically and Palm disappeared is because they didnt really get better and the new kids the iPhone and Android were like a breath of fresh air. I still dont see how WP and BB being separated by that small amount means WP is a solid 3. Lets wait til BB really falls lower to say that. WP doubling BB's market share of 1.7 isnt exactly awe inspiring. Its growth, but its really small and slow as we are coming up on 4 years since WP launched. But hey, if a solid #3 is 3.6, I'm sure MS will take it. I just dont see Android and the iPhone dropping so much anytime soon.

11. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

WP's growth this year is mainly due to Nokias hard work. Nothing else, but nokias hard work. So without nokia's know how MS is gonna get a beaten up and abused in the brutal smartphone market. Plus its gonna take a while for people to start to recognize the 'MS' branded phone.

26. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Microsoft is least sexiest tech company in US. Nokia, eventhough they kinda screw things up, is still sexy. Only thing why WP still exists is Nokia. Hardware and branding.

32. DKJnr

Posts: 24; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

You are forgetting that it's MS that's been paying Nokia hefty sums to keep them afloat so i wonder really is responsible. Just a thought.

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I don't think that WP will keep growing at the same rate. Google is training its gun sights at the ultra low end market with KitKat and the Moto G (which is apparently also enjoying good sales success). And as long as Microsoft's corporate culture continues to reflect Steve Ballmer's rather repugnant personality in its business practices, I wish them all the bitter failure they can swallow.

25. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

And if Nokia branding is removed, only small number of WP users=geeks will buy it.

8. Furbal unregistered

I could see it happening. It is a nice, fluid os

7. hurrycanger

Posts: 1778; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

I hope so. I hope the windows app store grows and multitasking will someday actually work. Do Skype and Viber work in the background now? It didn't before. I had to go into the app in order to receive a call. When that is fixed and the app store gets more apps (read Sauce's comment), I will get another Windows phone. It's fun to use multiple OS'es instead of just one.

6. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

A very well written article. Pretty objective, and I enjoyed reading it.

5. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

This year is the first year I saw almost as much Lumia phones as Galaxy phones, so I'm confident they can continue the momentum

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

MS needs to get a clue and get rid of the STUPID carrier exclusives. Every exclusive cuts out potential sales from the excluded carriers. Until the exclusives end, WP will not maximize its sales.

15. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Under Ballmer, MS doesn't have any clue at all.

21. mikelemon

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

I am sure MS would be better under you right?

39. xq10xa

Posts: 817; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Under anyone else. A monkey.

23. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

While I haven't been a fan of Ballmer, I can't blame him/MS for the carrier exclusives. Nokia owns those all by itself. I am just stating that the exclusives need to stop immediately once the Nokia acquisition closes. No. More. Exclusives. If Elop advocates for continuing exclusives once the acquisition closes, he needs to be summarily dismissed.

1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

How long have they've been running their app store? They still don't even have apps for two of my major credit cards (Discover & American Express). Lack of apps is a major turnoff for me.

2. aquariumdude

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

For your information, the Windows Phone Store has over 200,00 apps. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Microsoft-says-the-Windows-Phone-Store-now-has-over-200000-apps_id50400 That's plenty of apps. And most of them are quality. And just because it doesn't have 2 apps of your liking doesn't mean the entire store is lacking. Besides, they should come soon, as the banking app Mint just recently came out!

4. Sauce unregistered

He was giving an example of two popular and expected apps. There are obviously many many more that are not available, so quit being so defensive and understand a simple comment lol. No one cares how many apps are in ANY app store. People care which apps are available.

10. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

Exactly. It doesn't matter how many apps are in an app store if it doesn't have the apps a person uses. I have a Windows phone but I'm thinks of switching back because Windows lacks several apps that I use. Specifically BBC, NPR, Hilton Honors, and Southwest.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless