Despite seemingly flat to declining market share for many months, Kantar Worldpanel (the market-research unit of ad agency holding company WPP) now says that Windows Phones are seeing gains in the US market as well as abroad. The chart below offers a comparison of smartphone OS share in Q1 2012 and the same period this year.
According to the data Windows Phone grew from 3.7 percent in 2012 to 5.6 percent in Q1 2013 The company attributed the gains to first-time smartphone buyers upgrading from feature phones.
Kantar says that its US consumer panel “is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world.” Yet the most recent, available comScore market share information show much more modest growth for Windows Phones, from 3 percent to 3.2 percent in the previous three months.
A quick check of StatCounter shows the following about US smartphone share (of web traffic) in March:
- iOS — 52.5 percent
- Android — 40.1 percent
- BlackBerry — 2.7 percent
- Windows Phone — 1.2 percent
- Symbian — 0.5 percent
- Combined other — 3.0 percent
Thus, the market share figures from Kantar and comScore aren’t (yet) showing up in actual traffic data. Accordingly, it will take a few more months to determine whether the Kantar figures are accurate and whether Windows Phones’ apparent gains are actually real.