Windows Phone overtakes iOS in India but Android still massively dominant

Lumia 920

While the Windows Phone devices grabbing all the headlines tend to be at the top of the range — the Lumia 925 and 1020 being the obvious examples — but it looks like the devices aimed at emerging market countries may be what saves the OS in the end.

One example of this is India, where the OS has reportedly claimed second place ahead of iOS and BlackBerry for the third consecutive quarter with a market share of 5.4%. Alongside that, the OS also experienced 60% quarter-on-quarter growth. The figures, which come from research and tracking company IDC, suggest that Microsoft’s strategy for the OS is paying off.

“Windows Phone powered Nokia Lumia devices have achieved a striking growth in their volumes within a very short time since their launch in India. With new Windows Phone devices getting launched at short intervals, we expect them to continue on this growth trajectory,” said Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India.

What everyone will be watching however is whether Microsoft can build on that growth following its acquisition of Nokia’s devices business a few weeks back.

“Less than ten months back, when we launched Windows Phone 8 in India, we had set ourselves the goal of being the second most widely used smartphone platform in India, and we are excited to have achieved this milestone so quickly,” Vineet Durani, Director — Windows Phone Business Group, Microsoft Corporation India in an official press release.

“We have a great device line up, as well as an amazing app experience delivered through the Windows Phone Store. Together with the inherent strengths of the Windows Phone platform, the overall end-consumer experience is unique and immersive, which is driving this amazing uptake and will help us scale further,” he added.

While Microsoft has every right to celebrate being ahead of Apple in the country, it’s worth noting that it still lags some distance behind Android, which holds around 75% of global marketshare in the smartphone OS wars.

India will be key to its aspirations to do so, given that it’s the world’s second largest Windows Phone market. As the Register points out, Nokia is also one of the country’s most trusted brands. While that could count in Microsoft’s favour, it may have a difficult time once it’s no longer able to leverage the name.



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