Kantar's latest report reads like an eulogy to Windows phones

Kantar's latest report reads like an eulogy to Windows phones
The latest report from famous market research firm Kantar Worldpanel is out, and it paints an interesting picture of the smartphone market right now. As usual, Android and iOS are fighting their eternal fight, but what's interesting this time is that the firm has essentially written off all third-party alternatives, such as Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile and BlackBerry 10.

In its opening statement, Kantar says: "It is clear that there will only be two smartphone ecosystems moving forward – iOS and Android. To succeed, phone manufacturers will have to play by those rulebooks." While most people have known this to be fact for a while now, it coming as a conclusion to actual data gives it all the more credibility, meaning now it's more than official that there are no alternatives left for consumers besides the big two.

Moving on to the meat and potatoes of the report, a few highlights from the past three months:

  • Android is still growing worldwide, except for in the US
  • iOS is expanding as well, achieving growth everywhere but in Japan, Spain, and Urban China
  • The US market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, which together account for 70 percent of the market
  • LG is the third most-popular smartphone vendor stateside, but only has 11 percent of the market
  • Also, "the G6 is unlikely to have a significant impact on LG’s market share"
  • Android is still the king in Asia, with a 9.3 percent year-over-year market share increase
  • The upcoming Nokia devices are expected to do well in big European markets due to brand loyalty

As for the ill-fated Windows 10 Mobile, apparently 1.3 percent of United States sales are of devices running the OS, though that is half of last year's numbers. Windows, which is traditionally much more popular in Europe, continues that trend by having a somewhat higher market share there, with Italy's 4.4 percent being the clear outlier. BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, however, did even worse than that, scoring less that one percent in every market measured.

Unsurprisingly, Apple's iPhone 7 is the best-selling phone in Urban China, but Huawei is the largest vendor in the region. Following them are other local manufacturers, including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.

A particular focus is put on last month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which showed a clear trend of throwbacks to previous eras, such as Nokia and BlackBerry's respective brand revivals. The same goes for the devices presented, too, but not for operating systems, as Kantar is adamant that the OS race is now and onward between two players only.

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18 Comments

1. jellmoo

Posts: 2563; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Considering that Microsoft is doing little to nothing to support the platform (heck, they're doing more to support iOS and Android), this shouldn't come as a shock.

2. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

That's the way it always has been and will be. What's more alarming is that Microsoft continues to try to make Windows into a hybrid desktop/mobile platform and has royally screwed up the desktop platform. Can anybody save them. They've just lost their way.

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Maybe Google with Andromeda also lost their wau too.

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7225; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

There is a huge difference in Google's ecosystem and Microsoft's​. No matter what OS Google comes up with. Google's Android ecosystem is the largest agnostic ecosystem in the world. So as long Google creates a VM that supports both the hardware and OS it's running on, then Google's Android apps can run on almost anything. That's why we are seeing Android apps run on Chromebooks, Cars, SBCs, IoT devices, smartphones, tablets, watches, home appliances, and so much more. Even Microsoft was running Android apps on Windows with their project t Astoria, but they had to drop it and tell everyone that it was running slow. However the real truth is developers could just target and make Android apps that would not only work on Android supported devices, but those same apps would now run on Windows as well. So developers could just forget about making Windows apps, and only make Android apps. That's why Microsoft dropped Astoria. Making Microsoft's​ Universal apps not so universal when compared to Android.

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7225; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

How can Microsoft have 1% let alone 4%, especially since Microsoft sold 1.7 million smartphones last quarter. The total number of smartphones sold for the last quarter was 428 million smartphones sold (Q4 2016). Doing the math means Microsoft doesn't even have half a percent globally in sales.

9. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The desktop platform is not messed up but a work in progress. The tile start menu is awesome and only thing that moved me from linux. Also future iterations will likely improve. Got back into gaming thanks to windows 10.

3. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

It's a niche platform, you can stop the crocodile tears.

4. llk171

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

Such a shame, with the exception of apps missing, the prefer the live tiles over Android or ios. Fantastic OS to use as a phone too, runs lag free on even a $100 device.

6. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Shame. You lie bro. I have personal experience with this stupid OS on my Lumia 640LTE - Windows phone 10 is lagging, crashing, resuming all the time. For example - in Viber - you receive notification in the top, but if you try to go in the app, it is taking millenniums to refresh and shows the message. And this just one simple example. I can continue all day. Not to mention stupid and chunky interface - in Skype - the Microsoft own app, when connecting you see left pieces from letters "yp" from Skype in search bar. So stupid, ugly and unfinished. It was time to rest in piece. Microsoft committed suicide.

8. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

WM lagging? WM is the least lagging OS! You are using it wrong......ahahahaha

11. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I don't think yann is lying. Windows 10 Mobile is a work in progress OS therefore the stability is not as solid as the other two platforms. So depending on which rom release and which app in question the result will wildly defer. I just wish Microsoft would practise eating their own dog food. Make WP app a priority over the other two platform. If you don't lead by example who else would follow. They also need to lock down the feature set and make bug fixing their primary focus. I using my WP10 phone as a daily driver and its better now than i initially got it.

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You want a 640 to perform like a 950, that's rich. If you can only buy a Corolla, don't expect it to run like a Corvette. You sir, have a Corolla.

12. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

plus the 'always resuming' thing ... windows is the ugliest os ever made

14. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Not as ugly as the grey spinning wheel on iOS. I guess it's all subjective.

16. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

What about rack-wheels during updates??? Never saw something more ugly and uninspired animation. The whole OS is ugly from any angle. Starting from uncomfortable pin pad... No vision, no clue what they want to build. iOS is made to be easy and simple - not an iPhone or Apple fan, but that is the true. I'm using Android now, but looking for something new to break the market.

7. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I agree with you llk171. My Lumia 650 runs great, and I only paid $99 CAD for it during Black Friday sales.

13. jmonteiro829

Posts: 261; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

They should have provided fixes to the problems that users were experiencing in a timely manner. No support = No loyalty. I will not continue to use a phone that clearly has less than the competition. I actually liked Windows Phone when I had it but the lack of support from Microsoft made it a dud.

15. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Well 'tech journalists' also do a good enough job ruining the public reception of any OS that isn't Android or iOS.

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