Windows Phone sales are up: The product now has 5.6 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, an increase of 1.8 percent from this time last year. Part of that increase comes from Windows’ growing market share among younger buyers.
The news comes from the latest consumer panel by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA, which looks at U.S. sales data from the three-month period ending in April 2013. The report reveals that Android still enjoys more than half of the sales market, at 51.7 percent, while iOS is in second place at 41.4 percent.
Despite Android’s larger share, both iOS and Windows are growing faster than Android. Sales share of iOS grew 2.3 percent over the previous year, while Android was up only 1.4 percent.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato says a new trend has emerged of significantly younger smartphone buyers choosing Windows devices.
“When looking at those who changed device, between 2011 and 2012 Windows was more successful at capturing older consumers aged 50-64,” she said. “But when looking at those changing now and in the last year, we’re seeing Windows now gaining share among those aged 25-34.”
Windows is gaining its greatest traction from previous feature phone users; 42 percent of consumers who bought a Windows phone in the past year upgraded from a feature phone. Of the remaining Windows buyers, 25 percent had prior Windows devices and 23 percent jumped ship from Android. In comparison, iOS drew only 31 percent of its buyers from feature phone users in 2012.
To-date Windows sales for 2013 are similar to Blackberry sales this time last year, although the share of the RIM phones have dropped drastically year-over-year, from 5.3 percent last year to 0.7 percent this year. The news for RIM is that its new 10 operating system, launched in January, doesn’t appear to have provided the sales bump executives hoped for.
As for the future of Windows Phones, Microsoft has announced it will roll out updates for current Windows Phone 8 users throughout the rest of the year, beginning with new features such as FM radio support and “a handful of other goodies” on the new Nokia Lumia 928. The company promises more updates, among them “hundreds of other small quality improvements” that will be available for current users this summer.
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