Windows Phone 7 Sales Overtake Symbian in the UK

Analyst Blog

March 30, 2012, 10:49 a.m.
Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst

Windows Phone 7 (WP7) overtook Symbian in the UK smartphone market according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's latest data in February 2012. The mobile operating system (OS) provider WP7 has a 2.5% share of the UK smartphone market, while Symbian has 2.4%. A year ago, Symbian accounted for 12.4% of the same market and the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel makes for grim reading. The data is based on sales information collected from 15,000 users and collated over 12 weeks.

The Nokia Lumia 800 accounted for 87% of WP7 sales with the Nokia Lumina 710 and HTC phone WP7 models representing the remaining sales. This illustrates the considerable success WP7 Nokia handsets are having in the United Kingdom, as well as in Europe. Interestingly, the German smartphone market had the strongest WP7 sales in Europe; WP7 accounted for 3.1% of total smartphone sales in the study. In North America, however, sales have not been so promising and many believe Nokia's weaker brand in the United States is a key reason why.

Phones utilizing the Android OS represented 48.5% of UK smartphone sales - up 10.7% over the previous year. Apple also increased its UK market share to 28.7% and was the second largest OS followed by Research in Motion with 17.1%.

None of this comes as surprising news as Nokia has been concentrating more of its resources on the WP7 than on Symbian. Furthermore, surpassing a fading OS is hardly an incredible achievement and WP7 still has significant distance to catch up with Android and iOS. Nevertheless, its market traction is obvious and it is clear to see the success Nokia is having with its WP7 phones. Nokia need to take advantage of this by expanding its Lumina range quickly and soon.

Talking about a new Nokia smartphone that contradicts our ideas here, the Nokia 808 PureView is due to be released in Europe in Q2 2012. This smartphone has a massive 41 megapixel camera on board, 4-inch screen size and runs Symbian?! Apparently, the phone has been in the works for more than five years, explaining why it is using Symbian rather than its Microsoft lovechild, WP7. The PureView will not be released in North America as users in that neck of the woods have never taken to Symbian and Nokia plans to focus its marketing activities on countries in Europe that still have a strong Symbian presence. This is a shame, as the PureView image capture technology would probably generate significant publicity and interest in the United States and Canada.