When reports about mobile growth surface it’s easy to construe facts or twist them to make certain companies look good. That’s why we felt it was important to take Kantar WorldPanel’s latest results regarding mobile OS growth in the United States with a grain of salt. According to them, Windows Phone has been outgunning Android in the United States market as of late, with Microsoft’s mobile OS growing 1.5% from February to March while Android dropped 1.9%.
For starters, it’s worthy to note that Android still holds a very commanding lead over the rest, as it accounted for 49.3% of sales in March. iOS was second at 43.7%, and Windows sat at 5.6%. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a marked improvement for Windows from the 3.2% that it reportedly raked in this past January, but when you have as big of a lead as Android does it’s hard to keep your numbers from fluctuating.
It’s easy to see the OS has reached the point of a plateau of a mountain that’s hard to scale any further, and we shouldn’t look too deeply into the fact that it lost a couple of percentage points during the significant downtime that generally follows the holiday season. While new device launches weren’t absolutely stagnant in the first quarter of the year, it wasn’t until now that the latest major hits from Samsung and HTC — the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, respectively — were available.
Let’s add in the fact that Windows Phone’s success largely depends on Nokia’s Lumia line and you can see where there’s flaw in the argument that Android might be in trouble. I’m not saying Windows Phone is suddenly going to start fading away again because the new kids on the Android block are here, but using the operating system’s recent growth spurt as gospel that the trend will continue into 2013 and beyond without a little more push-back from Android is a tad shortsighted right now. Read into the numbers what you will.