Windows Phone’s Growth In The UK Is Built On Low End Handsets

Windows Phone’s Growth In The UK Is Built On Low End Handsets

MWC Barcelona 2013  - Nokia Lumia 520
Kantar Worldpanel released their data on smartphone market share today and the signs are good for  Windows Phone in Europe. The platform continues to perform well, with growth being seen in a number of territories. Of note is the United Kingdom, which has doubled over the last year.
The likely cause of that is Nokia’s release of lower priced Windows Phone handsets in the shape of the Lumia 520. To a certain extent the Lumia 620 and 720 also figure, but it is the 520  driving volumes and market share. Priced at just £99 pounds on a pay as you go contract (or free with a 24 month contract of £7 per month) the low cost Lumia is a key part of any 2013 strategy to build up market share for Nokia and Microsoft.
Much like Samsung looking at the halo effect of the Galaxy S4 marketing to bleed down to devices like the Galaxy Mini, Nokia are hoping that the plaudits and positive reviews of new flagship handsets such as the Lumia 925 will bubble down to the lower, more affordable handsets.
Windows Phone has an advantage here over Android. The platform is less resource dependant than Android, so the lower priced handsets retain much more functionality than lower specced Android handsets. Windows Phone also has much more capability built into the core OS, especially for social network interactions on Facebook and Twitter.
Balancing that are the main arguments of Windows Phone as a platform, notably the ‘app gap‘ argument. Microsoft still needs to work to get more developers on board to release apps for their online services and for games to launch on Windows Phone at the same time as iOS and Android.
But the lower-end of the market is not as app conscious as the power users with the flagships. The handset cost is a huge part of the decision, as is connectivity to social networks. That’s ground where Windows Phone should be happy to fight. Even though they’re fighting for every tenth of a percentage point in share, Microsoft is slowly but surely building up a bigger audience for Windows Phone.
The question now is if this will be enough to maintain the platform and allow their hardware manufacturers enough spare capital to invest in design and R&D for future devices.
If it is, then expect to see the market share rise at a faster rate over the next year.

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