Windows Phone 8 has shown further signs of an encouraging launch, with the OS almost trebling its UK market share during the past 12 months.
The operating system accounted for 5.9% of smartphones sold in Britain during the 12 weeks to December, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, and backs operators reporting stronger than anticipated demand for the device. As reported earlier this month, demand at HTC for its 8S and 8X devices initially outstripped supply. The research agency also reported a strong performance for WP8 in Italy, although US and Chinese growth remains elusive.
Kantar said a third of all smartphones bought during December were for Christmas gifts. The BlackBerry 9320 was the most popular present, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and iPhone 4S. More than 20% of gift devices were bought at Tesco.
Android remained the UK's most popular OS, growing its share 23.9% to account for 54.4% of smartphones sold during the period. Despite the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple saw its share shrink by 4.9% to 32.4%. Although BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion was boosted by Christmas gifting, its share still tumbled from 16.0% to 6.4%.
Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar, said: 'Among the handset manufacturers, Samsung has held onto the number one spot in Britain, claiming 35% of smartphone sales, although Apple is now biting at its heels with 32%. Nokia is experiencing something of a turnaround in Britain with its smartphone share at 6.2% and actual sales growing by over 50% compared with last year. Meanwhile, BlackBerry continues to find trading tough in the run up to the BlackBerry 10 release; however, its 9320 handset gave it a boost over Christmas with two-thirds bought as gifts.'
Author: Graeme Neill