iPhone 4 Demand Boosts Apple Market Share As Windows Phone Makes Gains

Demand for cheaper mid-range smartphones helps Apple and Microsoft in the UK

First-time smartphone buyers attracted by the competitively priced iPhone 4 helped to increase Apple’s share of the UK smartphone market in the three months leading up to June 2013, whilst Windows Phone cemented its position as the third largest mobile operating system in the world.

According to Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, Apple’s share rose by 5.2 percent to 30.5 percent during the period. However, Android remains on top spot with a commanding 56.2 percent share, while it is also the most popular operating system in the US with a 51.5 percent share, slightly down from the 52.6 percent it held last year.

It’s also the most popular mobile operating system in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, where it has a combined share of 69.8 percent, up from 64.5 percent last year.

Apple UK market share

iMessage iPhone

Analysts predict the race to convert feature phones to smartphones will heat up in the coming months, with smartphone penetration in the UK now at 65 percent, while they accounted for 87 percent of all mobile phones sold.

Apple will hope that the continued strong performance of its older handsets as well as cheaper version of the iPhone it is widely believed to be working on will give it an advantage.

“Margins are tighter at the entry-level end of the market, but as consumers become more engaged with their smartphone they are increasingly prepared to invest more when they upgrade,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

“Apple boasts the highest level of customer loyalty of the operating systems, and by capturing consumers at entry-level it is in a good position to grow its customer base in the future.

“With almost 19 million feature phone owners left in Britain, there is still a lot for iOS and the other platforms to compete for.”

Windows Phone gains

Windows Phone is also benefiting from the increased demand for mid-range smartphones as its UK share rose to 8.6 percent.

“While flagship Windows handsets such as the Nokia 925 and HTC 8X grab the headlines, it is the low and mid-range models, such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, which are quietly driving its momentum,” added Sunnebo.

“It is vital for Windows to be seen as a mainstream alternative to Android and iOS rather than a niche platform.to 4 percent in the US, but Microsoft will be happy with the strong performance of the Nokia Lumia range, sales of which rose by a third in the most recent quarter.

“Selling large volumes of lower end smartphones is a good way of getting Windows seen in the hands of potential customers’ friends and family, convincing them there isn’t a risk in choosing the operating system.”

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