Windows Phone more than trebles UK share in the past 12 months

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Operating system finishes 2012 strongly as evidence suggests new handsets based on the platform are starting to gain traction  

The Windows Phone operating system has more than trebled its share in the UK in the past 12 months to 5.9 per cent, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

For the 12 weeks to December 23, the OS grew its share by 0.8 per cent from the three month period to November 25, and from 2.2 per cent a year ago. Android continues to hold more than half of the UK OS market with 54.4 per cent, up 2.9 per cent from the previous three month period and 8.5 per from a year ago.

However, Apple iOS share fell in the UK, down 3.7 per cent from the last statistics and 1.7 per cent year-on-year to 32.4 per cent. RIM’s share held reasonably steady, falling 0.1 per cent from the last three month measure to November 25.

Kantar Woldpanel ComTech global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo said: “At the end of 2012 the global OS picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it experienced over the past year is beginning to slow as easy wins from first time smartphone buyers begin to reduce.

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of European countries. However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

In the three months to December 23, Samsung claimed 35 per cent of smartphone sales, with Apple taking 32 per cent. Nokia’s smartphone sales share stood at 6.2 per cent with actual sales growing by over 50 per cent compared to last year.

Smartphone penetration in the UK was 61 per cent, with 82 per cent of all mobile phone sales over the period being smartphones. A third of all handsets bought in December were given as Christmas gifts. Despite BlackBerry not releasing  a handset since the Curve 9320 last May as it prepares for the launch of its BB10 OS, the smartphone was still the most popular gifted handset last month, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and Apple iPhone 4S.

Kantar said more than a fifth of handsets bought as gifts last month were from Tesco. The majority of smartphone gift recipients were under the age of 18 years old and 57 per cent were women.

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