Windows Phone Surpasses iOS in China, Begins to Show Life in the U.S as Well
By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
When it comes to the mobile ecosystem, talk of market share has pretty much bored us all. There is currently a complete monopoly over the smartphone market with iOS and Android going head to head and keeping all possible contenders out of the game.
Then there is talk about the product itself and again, boring. Apple fanboys will complain about Android and Google Play being too messy and Android fans will continue to bash Apple for its closed ecosystem.
As you know, there is a newish player in this game that has definitely captured people’s curiosity, but that curiosity has not materialized into sales just yet. I am of course referring to Microsoft and Nokia’s joined venture, otherwise known as the world of Windows Phone.
How is it selling? Well, in reality, no one knows since Microsoft has not given concrete numbers. Of course, something tells me if Windows Phone had captured 50% market share since its inception, Microsoft would not be so secretive about the numbers, but now I am just speculating.
Well, when new evidence shows its face concerning Windows Phone and its global traction, that is of course interesting news for anyone following the mobile space.
There were two very interesting statements issued in the past week, one by Microsoft itself and the other by T-Mobile.
Why don’t we start with Microsoft, shall we? Well, contrary to what many Americans believe, there is a whole world outside of the U.S and China, for example, is a market that cannot be ignored. According to Chief Operating Officer for Microsoft in China, Michel van der Bel, and before you jump in, let me remind you that Microsoft is a public company and therefore the assumption is that the data it reports is accurate, the company has reached a 7% market share in the world’s largest smartphone market, China.
7%?! Android has 70%! True. But guess what iOS has. 6%! Now, i know what you’re thinking. “Big deal! One percent more? That is a gap that can be closed by the time I finish reading this sentence!”. True, but for a platform that is struggling to even enter the game, 7% of the market in just two months since it launched in China is definitely impressive.
If Microsoft continues this pattern, China might be an indication of times to come for Windows Phone.
“OK, but what about the U.S”, you ask? Again, no official numbers but a somewhat interesting statement to the Seattle Times by T-Mobile’s CEO, Philipp Humm might be an indication that the OS is showing signs of life is the U.S. Humm said that Windows Phone seems to be capturing an audience that is new to smartphones due to its simplicity and design.
He continued to say that T-Mobile is pleased with the Windows Phone performance so far and the feeling is mutual from Microsoft’s side concerning T-Mobile’s commitment to “push” the platform.
Now “Pleased” can mean a lot of things, and obviously, he would not publicly say that he was utterly disappointed with Windows Phone but I guess we will take what we can…
Whether or not you are a fan of Microsoft in general, there are two factors here that cannot be denied. The first is that while iOS and Android are two platforms that like to “borrow” design elements from each other, Windows Phone with its live tiles and metro UI is a breath of fresh air. Or at least, it is unique. No one can deny that.
The second is that I think we can all agree that more competition is a good thing for us consumers and monopolies are always bad, so let’s hope Windows Phone continues to find its niche and give us some more choice when buying our next smartphone.
Can it really compete? Take a look at the Lumia 900 go head to head with the iPhone 4S in the video below and decide for yourself.
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