Windows Phone market share falls, overall smartphone growth slows

Ben Parfitt
Windows Phone market share falls, overall smartphone growth slows

The market share enjoyed by Windows Phone handsets has more than halved in the last year.

The latest Worldwide Smartphone Shipments report from Gartner shows that Q4 2015 shipments of Windows Phone devices fell to 4.4m units, giving it around 1.1 per cent market share of the period. That's down from the 2.8 per cent share it claimed in Q4 2014.

Overall smartphone shipments saw growth of 9.7 per cent, but that's the lowest since 2008 – an inevitability, perhaps, as the devices become increasingly ubiquitous. Apple's market share was also down, tumbling from 20.4 per cent in 2014 to 17.7 per cent. Samsung and Huewei both saw small increases.

For 2015 as a whole, however, Apple increased its market share slightly from 15.4 per cent to 15.9 per cent, selling 226m smartphones. In OS terms, however, iOS was down, dropping from 20.4 per cent to 17.7 per cent.

Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,” Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said. An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.

For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices.”

Fellow research director Roberta Cozza added: Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

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