Here Are 24 Countries Where Windows Phone Outsells The iPhone (And Why It Does)

by Gordon Kelly

Statistics may say Windows 8 is a flop but, contrary to popular opinion, Windows Phone is far from down and out in the battle for our mobile affections. In fact in many parts of the world sales are rocketing past the iPhone.

This month Microsoft MSFT -0.57% broke these areas down country by country and confirmed exactly where Windows Phone is specifically outselling the iPhone. The list reads as follows:

Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

Interestingly in 14 of these markets – Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, India, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam – Windows Phone has taken second place in the sector, stepping past former strongholds for BlackBerry and Symbian which had also previously edged out iOS.

TMobile Lumia 521

Furthermore, the context for this data is solid. It comes from global smartphone sales in Q3 2013 byindependent market analyst IDC, which also points out Microsoft only led iPhone sales in seven countries in Q3 2012. Sales are also up 156 percent during the last 12 months, triple Android’s annual growth and 6x that of iOS.

But there are significant caveats.

• 156 percent is easier to achieve on a younger platform with a smaller market share
• Italy and Finland aside, Windows Phone is primarily growing is poorer nations where the iPhone is prohibitively expensive
• Q3 is typically a slow period for Apple AAPL +0.46% with sales dipping ahead of expected iPhone refreshes
• iPhone sales boom over the Christmas period and Q4 figures have yet to be announced
• Windows Phone sales are most in the low end with the Lumia 5210 (top) and 520 accounting for 42.4 percent of all shipments
• Nokia accounts for 93.2 percent of all Windows Phone handset sales highlighting little traction or interest from companies where Microsoft does not have control

As such, it is possible for cynics to argue Windows Phone is gaining in markets where the iPhone doesn’t compete and making little headway where it does. Except this isn’t true either.

Windows Phone Is Fast Becoming A Hit In Europe

ComTech-des13-dataClick to enlarge

supporting release for researcher Kantar in December (figures right) points out that Europe as a whole is quickly warming to Windows Phone at the expense of iOS. Across the ‘EU5’ (Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) iOS market share fell 5 percent over the last 12 months to 15.8 percent while Windows Phone has leapt from 4.8 percent to 10.2 percent (Android grew from 64.5 percent to 70.9 percent).

Most marked is the aforementioned Italy, where a 12.8 percent market shift in 12 months now sees Windows Phone lead iOS 16.1 percent to iOS on 10.1 percent, but there is also Spain where both platforms are tied on 4.3 percent (though Android has a massive 90.1 percent). France also sees an 11 percent shift between Windows Phone and iOS in the last year with the former now at 12.5 percent versus the latter’s 15.9 percent.

Britain remains iOS’s biggest ally in Europe where its market share of 28.7 percent is nearly triple Windows Phone’s 11.9 percent, though that still represents an 11.3 percent shift over the last 12 months in Microsoft’s favor.

As such, only two nations really remain iOS fortresses: the US, where iOS dominates Windows Phone 40.8 to 4.8 percent, and Japan where iOS rules all the platforms with 61.1 percent of the market.

Conclusion

So what can we make of this? In short that generalists on both sides are talking nonsense. Windows Phone is still struggling to shift higher end devices, but clear traction is not restricted to developing countries. Developed countries, particularly in Europe where iOS has previously been dominant, are showing strong shifts towards Windows Phone.

Should Apple care? Perhaps not. In only shipping two relatively expensive models with high margins it still dominates the earnings across all platforms (including Android) but this will cause it to lose market share. Should it enter the low end, Apple arguably only risks cannibalizing its own sales and profit margins.

But make no mistake, Windows Phone is no joke. Its force may not be felt in the US but it is growing fast and winning friends around the rest of the world. Yes, much of this may be in the low end, but that has never been a bad gateway to more premium products long term.

full story: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/01/21/here-are-24-countries-where-windows-phone-outsells-the-iphone-and-why-it-does/

Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market

Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market

Shutterstock

Motorola, LG, and HTC are getting left in the dust, according to new data from research outfit NDP Group.

According to a study, Apple and Samsung account for a huge 68 percent of the smartphone market in the United States — and that’s a trend that’s only being magnified as time goes by.

You want a chart? We got a chart:

SmartphoneOEMShareOwnership1-16-14

As you can see above, wins for Apple and Samsung add up to losses for exactly everyone else.

iPhones alone captured 42 percent of the market, up from 35 percent in 2012. Samsung bumped up 4 percent year over year from 22 percent to 26 percent.

In terms of OS market share around the globe, however, Android is still the clear winner, capturing a whopping 81 percent.

HTC saw the biggest losses in terms of market share, and the all-time loser of 2013 was — drum roll — BlackBerry.

The report also shows a correlating spike in data usage from 5.5 GB to 6.6 GB per person a month between 2012 and 2013.

Also, more smartphones and more data usage mean one more big increase: streaming media. For streaming music alone, the percentage of people who stream media on their smartphones rose from 41 percent at the end of 2012 to 52 percent at the end of 2013.

“It’s not surprising that hardware manufacturers such as Beats are leveraging partnerships with carriers like AT&T to break into the streaming music market,” said John Buffone, an executive director, industry analyst, for connected intelligence, in a statement on the results.

“This allows AT&T to offer subscribers more of what they want in the way of innovative music apps and provides Beats a partner capable of driving trial in a market where consumers already have an affinity for the music services they use.”

full story: http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/16/apple-and-samsung-make-up-23-of-the-u-s-smartphone-market/

Yahoo Girds Its Loins For The Battle Over Your Home Screen

by  (@panzer)

The home screen as it stands cannot last. In reality, what we’re looking at is the end times for the traditional grid of icons that we’ve become so familiar with since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.

There is simply too much context available via the sensors, camera, radios and other inputs we carry around in our pockets not to take advantage of it.

The icon grid design was used in many early smartphones running Palm and Symbian and Windows Mobile. But the iPhone really launched that design into the public consciousness and then Google cemented it with the launch of the first touch screen Android device. I’m not here to argue about firsts, but Apple was essentially responsible for making the grid the ‘standard’ in the eyes of a lot of people — both iPhone users and people who picked up other smartphones running on other operating systems.

But, seven years later, the choices made by Apple to honor the grid demand re-examination. The thought process is relatively simple to disassemble. The grid had been used by other smartphone makers and even Apple’s Newton. It was simple, easy to understand and friendly to people who were being introduced to multitouch — which was for most people a brand new way to interact with touch screens. This was the same process which led it to utilize real-world allegories like bookshelves, page curls and ‘buttony’ buttons.

But that home screen belongs to a bygone era. We’re acclimated now and any new users of smartphones have the collective installed user base to help them along.

Now is the time that the home screen begins to take advantage of the thing that we’re going to be hearing an absolute junk ton about in 2014: context.

I have a ton more thoughts about why 2014 will be the ‘year of context’ for mobile software and hardware, but for our purposes it’s enough to point at a few recent trends. Among those are Google Now, Apple’s ‘Today’ section in Notification Center, Facebook Home, Cyanogen Mod and home screen customization companies like Everything.me and, yes, Aviate.

These various products are all efforts to leverage the contextual signals that our mobile sensor platforms are able to collect and transmit. Where we are, who we are, what our intent is, what our environment looks and sounds like and what we do when we’re there. That context can be used to customize the way that our devices look, feel and work based on our own personal signals.

At this point, a home screen that customizes itself to you, personally, feels as inevitable as a well-worn pair of shoes.

TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler noted a symptom of this recently. The ‘first app you open’ in the morning is becoming more important real-estate than your home screen. In reality the first app you open when you turn on your iPhone is ’springboard’, the home screen. But up to this point it has remained relatively static, with only a couple of minor nods to active icons like the clock and calendar.

Android home screens have always been more malleable, allowing for personalization and customization on a deeper level. Which is why some people really like Android.

But this isn’t just about customization, it’s about reaction and organization on a contextual basis. Which brings us back to Yahoo’s recent acquisition, Aviate.

4.Morning

Aviate is a home screen replacement for Android that interprets signals from you, the user, to present you with the apps, content and alerts you want right when you need them or even before. It groups apps into automated collections. This makes the home screen simple and clean.

It also has elements of app discovery, says Aviate’s Mark Daiss. Aviate will look at the apps that you have and use the most and suggest more like it. The goal for the first run at Aviate was to cover roughly ’80%’ of a user’s day, says Daiss. That includes the major components like getting up, traveling, working and going to bed. From here on out it will be about fleshing out the moments in between.

Daiss credits Facebook Home for creating an awareness of what a launcher was and how a customized home screen could change the experience. Despite the fact that Home didn’t exactly turn out well, Daiss notes that other efforts like GoLauncher have seen success, with that offering currently clocking in at over 100 million installs on Google Play.

One of the reasons I believe Facebook Home’s initial try failed was that it was too insular. Even the most dedicated Facebook user needs more than just one network’s worth of information. That’s why I was curious about Yahoo’s plans for Aviate.

Yahoo SVP of Mobile and Emerging Products Adam Cahan says that the company isn’t interested in turning Aviate into some sort of ‘all Yahoo apps’ portal. For now, it will expand the beta program and get more users checking it out. “Think of this as an extension of [Yahoo] Search,” Cahan says. 6.Location

The extension of search metaphor is an apt one, as contextually aware home screens will be all about using anticipatory ‘searching’ through our apps, habits and use cases to provide us with better experiences. Aviate will now be able to tap deeply into Yahoo data like search, weather, maps and more to inform contextual experiences. But, Daiss is careful to note, Aviate will still choose the best, most definitive data source possible — even if that’s not from Yahoo. With the best data comes the best experiences.

Daiss lays down the core components of what he feels a contextual computing experience are. First, it needs the right input signals, then it needs the information that’s pertinent to the situation and then it has to provide the right user experience.

Part of what they’ve discovered at Aviate is that this experience often involves offering information and context from inside the apps right out on the home screen. But this isn’t a one-shot widget, this is a continuously personalized experience.

One of Aviate’s more popular features is a ‘swipe down’ screen that can offer you context from inside various apps at any given moment. Swipe down at a restaurant and you might get information about what’s good to eat there from Foursquare or Yelp. Swipe down at home and you’ll get alarm settings, a do not disturb toggle and a schedule of meetings.

If you’re an iOS user and this is sounding familiar, yes, this is why Apple acquired Cue. Because its swipe down ‘today’ section has the seeds of this kind of contextual computing, but it needs a lot of water and care to grow. Control Center and Notification Center need to grow up, quickly. (It’s also, I feel, one of the major reasons Apple changed its design so drastically with iOS 7 — it needed a more flexible framework to build within.)

Aviate and other intent-based home screens are champing at the bit to offer people a better experience. And Google Now has an immense amount of head start simply by virtue of the enormous amount of data it has from its users.

Unfortunately, once you start talking about how much these intent-based systems know about us and can anticipate our needs, the spectre of the NSA and government spying programs rears its head. Yahoo, Google and Apple were all targeted for data collection and that’s unlikely to go away. There are some incredibly complex and sticky moral quandaries headed our way with this new contex-heavy world, but that’s probably a discussion best handled in a focused chat about the trend.

For now, we have Yahoo acquiring Aviate in order to make sure that it has a hand in this new world of context-based software. It has the resources to juice the back end with user data, and it’s going to be a big platform for Aviate as a (relatively) agnostic prototype of the custom home screen. And if it’s turning and burning as much as it appears to be on mobile, Yahoo is very interested in how this battle for the home screen turns out.

What’s intriguing about this is that it’s very much a ‘technology company’ move. So much of the confusion about Yahoo and its new direction — I feel — has been rooted in the inability by some to come to grips with the fact that Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer is comfortable thinking of the company as both, and so are her new lieutenants. Yahoo has an enormous amount to prove still. No amount of hot young talent Botox is going to magically turn the company around.

But I don’t find the company’s investments in technology confusing. In this new contextual computing age, if you’re a media company not investing in your own technology, you’re probably not being…anticipatory enough.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/07/yahoo-girds-its-loins-for-the-battle-over-your-home-screen/

iPhone users smartest, Test of Wits says. BlackBerry? Sorry

A series of brain teasers, called Test of Wits, put brainy hurdles in front of 2,000 smartphone users. Apple users finish 5 seconds before anyone else.

by 

An expression of intelligence? (Credit: Apple/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

You are your smartphone, and your smartphone is you.

It is, by now, an accepted wisdom that your choice of pocket computer says more about you than perhaps even you might articulate.

These pages are evidence that such a choice elicits a competitive element. So might I present a supposedly objective piece of educational research that shows iPhone users are a touch smarter than users of other phones?

As with all the finest educational research, this was sponsored by a betting company, Britain’s Ladbrokes.

It gave 2,000 human beings the Test Of Wits. This is a compendium of seven brain teasers that purports to examine just how sharp you are.

Before the human beings began the test, each had to state the manufacturer of his or her smartphone.

The results will cause pain to some and an increased level of arrogance among others. You see, Apple users were the victors. Yes, those vain, design-conscious poseurs (disclosure: I myself own an iPhone) do indeed have the sharpest minds.

As the Daily Mail reports, iPhone owners solved the Test of Wits 5 seconds faster than owners of any other phone.

Chugging along immediately behind them were Google Nexus owners. Staggering along with a huff and a puff in very last place were those who still have a BlackBerry.

Please allow me to give you a sample from this test. Question 1 reads: “What is the next number in the sequence? 2,5,10,17,26…

(A) 34

(B) 37

(C) 41

(D) 43

The second question asks you how many months have 28 days. (Clue: The answer isn’t 1.)

The test is very forgiving, as you can stay on the question until you get it right. So speed of clicking on buttons is a very important facet — as it is in all digital life, of course.

This piece of research is as much entertaining bunkum as the last. Still, because you’ll want the complete data, I’ll tell you that Samsung users came in third, HTC fourth and Nokia fifth.

However, I am sure that BlackBerry’s new management will worry that its users took an average of 22 seconds longer to complete the test (yes, a fulsome 118 seconds) than did iPhone owners.

 

It would be interesting to know how many of these BlackBerry owners still had the physical keyboards. I’ve always been told how much easier it is to type on them.

At least, that’s what Eric Schmidt says.

Well?

(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

 

 

Nokia wins German injunction banning HTC Android devices

BY JON FINGAS

Nokia is clearly on a roll in the courtroom as of late — following lawsuit wins in theNetherlandsthe US and the UK, the company has landed a German injunctionbanning all of HTC’s Android-based devices. The ruling lets Nokia provisionally block the sale of the One and other Google-powered hardware that allegedly infringes on a patent for peer-to-peer sharing over Bluetooth and NFC. HTC is expected to appeal the decision; Google is trying to invalidate the patent, but its move won’t come in time to avoid or delay the ban. There won’t be much else the two firms can do in the meantime. As with a similar defeat in March, HTC will have to either change features or strip them out to keep doing business.

SOURCE: FOSS Patents

full story: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/30/nokia-wins-injunction-banning-htc-android-devices-in-germany/?ncid=rss_truncated

Nokia Closes Out 2013 With 92% Of The Windows Phone Market

by  (@alex)

The fine folks at AdDuplex have provided Paul Thurrott with an early look at their final Windows Phone market data for 2013, giving us in the public a final look at the key statistics of Microsoft’s smartphone platform’s OEM and device makeup.

The figures are much as they have been all year, only more so. Nokia continues to control the lion’s share of Windows Phone hardware, ending the month up a few points at 92.1 percent (this is a calculation of usage share, tracked through AdDuplex’s network). And the Lumia 520 handset continues to dominate its brethren, with a new high of 39.3 percent share. And that Windows Phone 8 grew against the now-fading Windows 7.x system, with record relative market share of 78.3 percent.

Windows Phone’s 2013, if you had to put it into basic trends, would be that Nokia cleaned up, and its Lumia 520 was the weapon of choice.

Thurrott well describes the current low-ending of Windows Phone (bolding original):

Almost no high-end phones are popular. Worldwide, only the Lumia 920 makes the top 10 list for usage among all Windows Phone handsets, and if you look just at Windows Phone 8 handsets, only two high-end devices make the list: The Lumia 920 and the 925. In the US, there are three: The Lumia 920, 928, and 1020. All the rest are new low-end devices or old devices. The Lumia 1520 phablet doesn’t appear anywhere in this report.

What this means is that the sales momentum that Windows Phone has comes at the cost of per-unit revenue. Margin pressure increases at lower price points. The list of sacrifices that had to be made to produce the Lumia 520 is not small.

So, as we tally what could be the final month in which Nokia rules Windows Phone, it’s important to note that rising unit volume has come at a cost. The Lumia 1020 is a hit among a subset of the technology elite, but perhaps few else.

Can you build a mobile empire on predominantly low-end phones? Apple managed the opposite, so perhaps this, too, is possible.

full story: http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/30/nokia-closes-out-2013-with-92-of-the-windows-phone-market/

Nokia pulls Here Maps from the App Store, blames iOS 7

BY DANIEL COOPER  20 hours ago

In the wake of Maps-gate, Nokia was one of several outfits that rushed to Apple’s aid with a navigation app of its very own. A year later, however, and that same offering has been yanked from the App Store before it could send a note to its neighbors. When we asked, Nokia responded with the below quote, saying that iOS 7 harms the user experience of HERE, but users can still access the mobile edition of the service. Which is all well and good, unless you were a big fan of the app’s ability to cache offline data.

“We have made the decision to remove our HERE Maps app from the Apple App Store because recent changes to iOS 7 harm the user experience. iPhone users can continue to use the mobile web version of HERE Maps under m.here.com, offering them location needs, such as search, routing, orientation, transit information and more, all completely free of charge.”

 

VIA: Nokia Power User

SOURCE: Indian ExpressiTunes (Broken link)

full story: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/27/nokia-kills-here-maps-blames-ios-7/