Microsoft to exploit expensive iOS plus security and experience issues with all rival systems
Microsoft says Windows Phone will become the most used mobile operating system in the B2B market within the next 12 months.
The ambitious target was revealed to Mobile News during an exclusive interview with Windows Phone UK director Leila Martine (pictured) following Microsoft’s Business Transformed Event in London this month.
According to Martine, who was quoting the most recent figures from Canalys, Nokia’s UK enterprise market share stands at 18 per cent. This is ahead of Samsung (17 per cent) but behind Apple iOS (35 per cent).
“Our ambition is to be number one in the business market and my ambition is to achieve that within the next year,” she said.
“We want to be taking share from across the board.”
Martine said momentum is now with Windows Phone in B2B, having identified a number of weaknesses with its rivals – particularly concerning price, choice and security.
She claims decision makers in businesses are increasingly being put off by the high costs and limited choice of Apple (iPhone) handsets, whilst the experience and security issues on Android are causing customer concerns.
“When you think of Apple, how many CEOs and CIOs really want to pay for their employees to use an expensive premium device when they can choose from a full range of devices?
“With Android, Apple and BlackBerry, there are continued concerns about the fragmentation of the ecosystem, the segmentation of the experience and also the level of malware.”
Nokia, which partnered with Microsoft in 2011 before eventually being acquired for £3.8 billion this year, accounts for around 94 per cent of all Windows Phone handsets sold globally.
HTC (4.3 per cent), Samsung (1.2 per cent) and Huawei (0.8 per cent) make up the rest. Fifteen Lumia handsets have been released during this period with current prices ranging from £70 (Lumia 520) to £490 (Lumia 1520).
In addition to B2B, Microsoft has set targets to double its Windows Phone market share in the consumer space to around 20 per cent during the same period.
Windows saw its UK share increase tenfold in 2013 thanks almost exclusively to Nokia’s Lumia range, particularly the low-end Lumia 520.
According to analyst firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Windows peaked in January with an 11.5 per cent share, but has dipped to around 9.5 per cent in recent months.
Martine blamed the fall on the wait for its Windows 8.1 OS update that debuted on the entry-level Lumia 630 (£100), which went on sale at the end of May. Without revealing figures, she added the firm will continue to advertise heavily to build up the brand in the UK to ensure its momentum continues.
“The industry is hyper-competitive, the growth is slowing down and that is putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers.
“The fact that we were the fastest growing OS last year gives us a really good platform to build on our momentum.”