The CEO of EE has urged Microsoft to do more to support to its Windows Phone platform, after saying he was concerned about the continued dominance of Android and iOS.
While praising the user experience of the Windows Phone 8 platform and saying it was an exciting product, Olaf Swantee argued that Microsoft needed to provide more marketing support for its mobile platform.
According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, Windows Phone accounts for 8.6% of the UK smartphone market, compared to Android and Apple carving up almost 90% between them. When asked about the current state of the smartphone market, he said: ‘What’s concerning is we still see such a significant demand for iOS and Android. While Microsoft has seen some increases to the popularity of its platform, it’s still very small compared to the other two. It still has to do work to support it. It’s a different operating system, a good product and exciting, but it needs to offer more support.’
His comments came as Nokia app chief Bryan Biniak said Microsoft needed to be swifter in support of its smartphone platform. He told the International Business Times: ‘We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say ‘time is of the essence.’ Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets doesn’t do us any good when I have phones to sell today.’
Swantee’s claim could be seen as a criticism of Microsoft’s deal with Telefónica for the operator to grant greater support to Windows Phone devices. O2 is planning to introduce dedicated Windows Phone areas in-store and its CEO defended the performance of Microsoft. He said: ‘We have a strong relationship with Microsoft and Nokia as a result of the global deals... A big thing during the past few months has been the return of Nokia and us starting to see traction with Windows Phone 8.’
The first Windows Phone 8 devices were launched last autumn, with Nokia in particular staking its future on the success of the Microsoft operating system. While its share in the UK has almost doubled during the past 12 months, driven by Nokia’s Lumia portfolio and devices from the likes of HTC, the American market has proved more difficult to crack. Its year on year market share has been largely flat.
A Microsoft spokesperson said: ‘Windows Phone is the fastest growing platform in the UK. Our focus is on building this constantly growing customer base and driving user satisfaction. Working closely with all our operator partners in the UK and across the globe is key to driving growth and satisfaction.’
Author: Graeme Neill