Report says Windows Phone beating Android in US lately, but does it mean anything?


windows vs android

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.

[via WinSource]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Suppose last year sales of windows phone is 100 and now its 200 …thats 200% growth …

    and thats not a measure to say its BEATS Android where its sells in millions

    1. They are using percentage of the market not your measurement

      1. yeah you are right

    2. A growth from 100 to 200 is 100% sales growth.

      Growth = New – Old = 200 – 100 = 100.
      Growth / Old = 100 / 100 = 1 = 100%

      As Lib Republic said, they were using market share growth, though.

    3. 250 million Windows Phone’s in use on the market right now…

      1. That’s pretty good if you ask me.

  2. windon’t tell the truth.

  3. All of these reports, or types of reports, using such relatively small samples, are simple entertainment at best. That’s not to say I think WP is not growing… I actually think it’s got a slight chance to become a niche market, IF MS can come up with something UX wise that everyone accepts.

    Anyway, any sample shorter than, I don’t know.. a year?, is fool’s gold, IMO.

    1. If people like me switch to windows phone then it may soon hit 10% very soon. I loved android before it turned into a mess. I had an android and OEMs didn’t care about the device after they sold it. Google can’t be blamed for this but it soon has to take charge before the platform becomes a nightmare.

      1. The problem with that line of thought is that the majority of people buying smartphones don’t give as much weight to the operating system as they do to the bells and whistles of the particular device the are looking at. So, do you really think that the 920 is going to win out over the S4, One, Note 3, Xphone, or even the iphone, in that situation?

        1. Not to mention that there’s no guarantee the Lumia will be upgradeable to the next version of Windows.

          1. ALL Windows Phone 8 devices are already garanteed the next major update. Windows Phone 7 devices got 2 major updates and 1 or 2 smaller ones.

          2. In fact, given MS’s past performance, I’d assume that it WON’T be upgradeable.

          3. How many android phones were upgraded to the latest version? MS has said WP 8 will be upgraded to the next OS. The prior version was not upgraded because of different instruction set. Android didn’t have these issues yet the many phones were not upgraded to the latest OS. Lets not be blind supporters. The OEMs are taking advantage of us because of this mindset.

          4. Quite a few, actually. Again, more than were upgraded from Mango. You can justify it any way you like, but anyone using a WP 7.5 phone got screwed. My wife’s phone, on the other hand, is about 1.5 years old and has been upgraded to JB) The Nexus S is over 2 years old, and also has had JB released on it. And, of course, the dev community has gotten JB running on a plethora of older phones. Something unthinkable in the MS prison like community. Yeah yeah, it’s locked down and you like it that way. I’ve heard it before.

          5. WP7 and WP8 are on different chipsets. WP8 will be upgraded to the next version of the OS. I am waiting for at least one minor update (not OS upgrade) on my android phone. Nothing came. I am sorry it looks like we have become blind fans of an OS. that is not healthy for any product.

          6. YAWN… Until they put WP9 on a different chipset, and then the cycle continues. Oh, and apparently you chose wrong on your Android phone, or you aren’t smart enough to ROM it. Which phone do you have? Maybe I can help you realize the full potential of Android instead of your passive aggressive anger. I’m not a blind fan. I’m a man who knows what he wants and is willing to put in the time to get it. I’ve been able to upgrade every Android phone I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned the worst Android phone ever made. (The Samsung Moment) I was even able to get that little turd up to FroYo from Cupcake.

          7. Right!

          8. They should receive updates for around 18 months after release. 1.5 years is pretty good considering 2 years is the standard for a contract.

      2. You will have the same issue in WP the only company that really cares as much about HW and SW is our good old centralized Apple. they are the only company that make HW and SW under the same roof.

        1. I agree but MS is taking measures to address this issue. And Google should do the same. They should follow Apple. I am not a Google hater. I love competition. Competition from Google is forcing Microsoft to innovate. This is good for us.

          1. Not too sure if Google should follow Apple directly, I still think it’s good that consumers have the option to purchase multiple devices from multiple manufacturers. But Google already has a similar line to Apple’s iPhone, the Nexus line (pretty much the only Android devices I personally buy), but I like the fact that there are other options is the reason Android is so big. I think with the purchase of Motorola, we will see a few more devices that are according to Google’s spec/control. But if these devices will actually be better than what Samsung, HTC and others are pushing remains to be seen. I think that the other HW manufacturers added many useful functions to the Android platform and it is nice that consumers have the choice, if they want pure Google (Nexus line, maybe Motorola down the road), or if they want something else.

      3. lol you loved android before it was a mess? if anything it was a mess before and now is much better.

        1. I agree, to say it’s mess NOW is just downright trolling.

          1. I apologize if i came across as a troll. i was pleading Google to take control of the OS before we see even more forks in the OS. Android experience is not unique. Apple excels at this.

          2. There is one iphone and a sea of oems using the same os and need to differentiate themselves. That being said, many of the skins are crap and need to be ditched. If you can’t do a good job then just use stock i don’t get oems sometimes either. I think Google is making bad decisions well. Mtp, and not allowing apps to be moved from internal to external memory while many phones still are being launched with only 16gb of built in memory while not making use of the available memory card is stupid in my opinion. Give us that choice back, we had it in ginger bread and froyo, i remember how long we were clamoring for it and then to have it taken away.

      4. Quit buying crap phones. My wife’s Sprint Epic touch (The Galaxy 2) just got the JB update. Or… GASP! Buy a Nexus Phone. It’s on you almost as much as it’s on the Carrier if you buy something and then expect updates, and are disappointed. At this point, you should know with at least some certainty which carriers/manufacturers are going to support their phones.

        1. This is exactly the problem on android phones these days. Experience is worse on low end phones. I don’t see this issue with windows phones. We will not have these issues if Google takes control of android and stops OEMs from screwing the experience. my aim was to tell my experience not anger android fans. just a thought.

          1. Why does Google need to take control? What exactly are they going to do? Tell OEMs that they need to update their phones?

            Just buy a phone you know will be updated if you care that much. Like the Galaxy S4, for example. I own a Nexus 4, and I’m always on the newest version of Android. I’ve learned how to get past or fix all the downsides of the Nexus 4 (such as the screen being washed out, or the thermal throttling), and I love it now. I used to feel the same way about Android. I kind of felt like it wasn’t as fun to use anymore, and that it was kind of going downhill. Then I got the Nexus 4, and it is AMAZING. Just imagine a Galaxy S4 or HTC One without all the kinks that my Nexus 4 has.

          2. How many people know how to do what you are doing to get the latest version of android. Why should we do it? it should be give to us. I understand old hardware incompatibility issues. but at least they should give us the updates if not upgrades. is it too much to ask from OEMs?

    2. couldn’t agree more, especially before the launch of flagship devices, people are waiting for the HTC One and S4, that’s the same as measuring the 3 months right after the One and S4 release and saying Android is growing much faster than iOS, but people are not buying an iPhone 5 just pre iPhone 5S or 6 launch.

  4. That report is such a joke. Three of my friends moved from windows phone 8 to android and found android to be far more superior than windows phone.

    1. I moved from android to windows phone. No lag, no freezes, no reboots, no hard resets. I haven’t received a single update on my android phone. Tell me why I should move to android?

      Google has to take control of android before mess turns into a nightmare. OEMs are screwing android by putting their crap and not caring about devices after they sell them.

      1. You’re doing it wrong! I have a relatively ancient Sensation that received an OTA update. It never freezes, never reboots, and there’s no lag.

        1. I’m sorry, I love android but the Sensation lags constantly. That version of Sense was so f’n bloated. I kept it for a year but finally gave it away. I don’t usually buy phones every year but the Sensation made me go running back to vanilla android.

        2. I had a Sensation with an OTA update as well as an Amaze. They do lag but I blame Sense for that. I do have a Nexus 4 currently and it is SMOOTH. Nexus really is the way to go.

          1. It proves my point. I said Google should take control of OS before OEMs screw it up even further.

          2. Are you saying they should stop manufacturers from adding their own customizations? So goodbye open source.

      2. Stop looking at porn on your phone bro…..

        1. never! a phone that cant handle porn is not a real phone

          1. This guy knows what’s up.

      3. Lol talking about upgrades, how many of the previous WIndows phones before the 920, 820 etc. have been given the latest upgrades?

        1. The first Windows Phones got 7.8 and 7.8, 2 major updates. How many iPhone 3GS’ got the latest iOS update?

          1. did you seriously just say “…got 7.8 and 7.8, 2 major updates?”


            and not all WP7 devices are even GETTING 7.8

          2. Oops, i ment 7.5 ** aha, and i don’t know what devices didn’t get 7.8… My HD7 did, as well as my old Nokia 610 i sold.

          3. “Major update” ? Is this a joke ?
            Every 3GS can download and run iOS 6.1.3 (latest iOS version available) and most of them already have.

          4. Sure, apple pushes the update to older devices, but its not the same firmware at all. The 3GS doesn’t have the new features like Siri. Apple upgrades the old devices firmware without giving it much more functionality.

          5. They give each devices all the features they can handle at hardware level. Performances enhancement, security fixes, cloud services, notifications, turn by turn maps, full software compatibility with 2013 apps, AirPlay, iMessage, unified mailbox, Cloud backup, wireless sync, countless UI improvements and tweaks… not bad for a mid-2009 device (that’s nearly 4 years !).
            Last but not least : how many 2008 Android phones are able to run Google Now ? iPhone 3G does…

          6. Google is way out of the loop on that, i have to give that one to you. My father just bought an android phone running 2.2, and i wonder why they even sell them still. The software sucks and i know damn well he will never get an update for it. I understand Microsofts position though. They started out with the wrong hardware and using CE. If they hadent stopped the way it was going, it wouldn’t have developed. Switching to the NT kernal was a great idea. It was the only way to have the hardware develope, as well as get it on the same kernal as Windows 8. It did cost them kick back, but better to upset a couple thousand people early, than millions later. But ending support for 7.x devices really that awful? Most market share of Android comes from cheap devices that never see an update at all. Most people in the consumer world buy a phone for what it currently has, not what’s coming. So to most people, an update doesn’t matter. This updating kickback is coming from tech people, bloggers and in some cases, people who have no idea what they are talking about.

          7. The reason they can’t is because Android changes by leaps, skips and bounds. (Even though all skinned Androids are the sewer of Android). It’s easy to add those features or some because besides adding wallpaper(oooo ahhhh) and a pull down shade, and multitasking that is cumbersome and not really multitasking, iOS has remained basically the same since launch. This will probably change as they copy more features from Android. Cause Android sure isn’t copying them anytime soon.

        2. I can speak on that one. My HTC Titan never got one update under At&t, not even the 7.8 update.

      4. I bought the OG Razr when it came out and the phone simply has become better with age. I received an update to ICS & Jellybean. The battery life last longer now on Jelly Bean, this has to be the first phone where my battery life actually got better with its age (because of software enhancements of course).

        Unfortunately, my experience is totally difference than yours. Sorry you had such a rough go. But if Windows phone is what makes you happy, then be happy. But may I ask why you still follow news on Android sites?

      5. Thank-You! Had the LG Optimus 3D and was promised ICS over a year ago. I never got it, never got a single update. Got a Lumia 920 in November and recieved 2 fairly big firmware updates, plus constant Nokia software updates. Never get thay with Android.

        1. You never get that with Android phones with custom skins. Android does plenty of updates if you buy Nexus. I’m pretty sure i’ve already had 2 updates since November 2012 for the Nexus 4.

          1. That’s wrong to say. Because high end flagship Android devices with skins do get updates. I mean look at the Galaxy S2. It’s still getting updates. In fact it’s on 4.1.2 which the HTC One was released with. That’s pretty poor on HTC’s end.

      6. I have a Nexus 4… No lag, no freezes, no reboots, no hard resets and i’m rocking the latest version of Android. If you’re worried about things running smooth make informed purchases.

        1. This s exactly my point. You don’t have to worry on either apple or Microsoft’s platform. I will say apple excels at this.

          1. Agreed, they do excel, but they control the OS and the hardware. Definitely simplifies things.

        2. You’re a lucky man (I’ve had ALL these issues on my N4 rev11 4.2.2).

        3. Ain’t that the truth. Unfortunately the Nexus 4 is kept out of proper commercial reach due to bad marketing towards the masses. It’s far superior to almost every Android in existence and best long-term satisfaction of them all, even over the One and S4. Those phones will be lucky to get even one single update, let alone two. The carriers are already working on forgetting those phones and thinking how to sell you the next Android update attached to a new phone.

      7. Of course you won’t see your windows phone lag, you never want to use the thing except to make calls. I’ve had three android phones so far, only time I’ve had a problem with freezing is because I flash custom ROMs and sometimes they’ll have a bug, but it seems any new phone coming out won’t have any problems.

        1. Is this a joke? Maybe this mindset is enabling the OEMs take advantage of us.

          1. Not a joke, I’ve had the ability to change the ROM’s on my phone, but you go into it knowing there can be bugs sometimes which are usually fixed by the devs. To me it’s better then just keeping the same stock ROM that the phone came with, or if I don’t want to deal with it I could leave it.. it’s really the users choice. Of course leaving my Nexus 4 with the stock ROM, it works perfectly. Not sure what the problem is with all of this.

      8. You’re missing the point of Android being open source then. A WP8 phone is perfect for my 72 y/o mother who doesn’t do much…for everyone else it’s not a logical choice.

      9. While you may get roasted by everyone else, I completely understand. I feel the exact same way. It isn’t that I hate Android, it is that my WP8 experience is so much better. I might want to get a “play phone” for some apps or neat stuff (you know, like Google apps), but for my daily driver I am not compelled by a spec sheet that won’t be fully realized.

      10. Troll detected.

      11. Should have bought a Nexus instead of a fake skinned, carrier bloat filled, never getting more than one update if you’re lucky, lesser Android. I’d pick a Windows phone over them too.

    2. LOL! Yeah, I bet they did. I bet you’re lying through your teeth like the little troll fanboy that you are. I bet you don’t know a single WP user. So stop lying.

      1. Seems to me the little troll here is you cause you are the one lurking in a Android website. What’s the matter? You feel butthurt because you can’t stand the fact that Android is way better than your boring Windows phone 8 platform where microsoft has to pay developers to even bring their apps there cause the vast majority are not even interested in that platform. Boohooo, go cry a river to microsoft.

  5. I think at the time the positions are fairly stable Android is #1 iOS #2 and the other platforms are fighting for #3 spot which Windows seems to hold pretty strong.

    question? -> is windows phone based on the Windows NT kernel? Does it have the terrible centralized registry that clutters over time and the huge army of DLL files that clutter the phone like a Windows computer? in that case Microsoft has work to do because a phone slowing down as much as a windows computer is just not acceptable to many users, especially not nowadays. I’m okay resetting my computer every now and then but if my phone needs the same treatment I’d switch OS pretty quickly. A fast PC won’t be affected by that as much as a phone either, a little arm processor has a harder time to keep up with that than an i5 or i7 Intel CPU. the other issue accompanying that is the battery life. Great out of the box terrible after 3 months of use. I wouldn’t even buy a Windows Laptop for this reason, desktops are okay though. I currently have a Windows desktop and a MacBook Pro, haven’t had to re install the MacBook since day 1 (3 years now), my desktop already needed a first new install (only 5 months old), I do use the desktop more though.

    1. You are thinking of the NT kernel 15 years ago, not today. Plus Microsoft fixed all the DLL problems in Vista and later. Even so Windows Phone will never have this issue due to a completely different application methodology. If you want a phone that crawls to a stop, use an Android phone because it actually does use methods of 15 years ago. Plus, nobody I know has ever had to reinstall Windows since 7. Time for you to get out a bit and see what new these days…

      1. Well I had to re-install Windows within the first 4 months of having the computer top of the line equipped i7. After the upgrade from Win 7 to Win 8 there were many residual files that made Win 8 a very choppy experience. I updated Mac OS X many times in the 3 years of my MacBook, never needed to wipe the drive and start from scratch. But then again this is not comparing WP to Android. I personally have not used a WP device for linger than a couple hours so I can’t give an objective observation how well WP “ages”. Overall though it’s well known than a Linux kernel is more efficient than a Windows kernel.

        Though more importantly is how “clean” the system is programmed. And both Google and Microsoft do have excellent programmers.

        1. Just because you had one bad experience doesn’t mean we all did.

  6. As a software developer, database architect and gadget field (and currently on the Nexus 4) I MUST concede that Windows Phone is a superior OS. Now hold yer horses. They have a LOOOONG way to go, however, as I stated I look at the underlying of a system not just the apps and eco system, and with that said… Windows Phone is a MUCH better operating system. It just simply is. Its snappier, faster and…. almost never lags. Whereas Android depends on mobile phones that need hardware that approach the latest physical computers. WP runs smoothly on a 1 Ghz with less than 1/5 gb of ram.

    Now that doesn’t mean Windows Phone is a better “choice”…. if it did, then why would I be on the Nexus 4? Simply put, Windows Phone is a superior operating system, however without an eco system to push it forward its like saying I have a car that can fly but there no place to buy the gas I need to make it go.

    I believe in due time if Microsoft keeps pushing WP8 and the Blue initiative takes off (thats where your phone, tablet, and laptop all share everything).. they will soon catch up.

    Let us not forget…. Rome too fell, and in the mobile world it fell many times already, Palm to MS, MS to RIM, RIM to Apple and now Apple to Android.

    1. Normally I don’t reply to BS but today I have a few minutes; I am running Android 4.2.2 on a 3 year old Samsung S1, 1 Ghz, 1 gb ram and it just works fine. Try again developer.

      1. And how does it run? Fine if you don’t install anything, but I doubt you’d let us know when your S1 crashes, and I’m sure it does a LOT.

    2. Ecosystems, Minimum hardware, W8 & Blue initiatives. Yeah Yeah Yeah. As a consumer who does research before jumping on the band wagon. What is your Smart Phone device? A Nexus 4. Moving along now..

  7. We don’t care Microsoft.

    1. Microsoft didn’t write the article…Phandroid did. I’m sure Microsoft doesn’t care what you think either.

      1. Maaaan don’t let me began to explain how little I care about your opinion. Troll elsewhere you lame.

        1. lol…i honestly don’t care if you care about my opinion dude…Lol because i said one thing that isn’t pro-android, i’m “trolling”? look up the definition of trolling dude…

          1. Trolling is a guy deciding to start a random online argument with a guy that doesn’t give two flying effs about his opinion… But I ain’t going to give it to you. Foh weirdo.

          2. lol alright buddy…get over it.

          3. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Please stop.

        2. That’s not trolling.

  8. LOL – instead of selling 3 phones this quarter, they increased their sales to 4 phones. Huge growth rate!!

    1. Try 250 million in use right now. Try again looser.

  9. Beating it in sitting on the shelf the longest race? LOL! GIMME A BREAK!

  10. Whether or not it holds true, Windows phone is actually a really nice platform and having options is awesome. It ups the ante for other platforms. It’s like when Lexus shook up the luxury car market in the early 1990s and all of the German and English luxury car makers had to start offering bigger warranties and compete on price and reliability.

  11. 1.5% of a small number is an even smaller number. Don’t get too excited yet MS. The real invention machine now is Google. They use strong arm tactics to get Android manufacturers to license secretive patents. They are too embarassed to tell all knowing that the patents are of the ilk Apple uses to sue. They are likely the “slide to unlock” and “scroll bounce” variety.

  12. I’ve moved from Android to Windows because a friend said it kicks Android’s butt. I had a Nexus 4 (still do), Once I moved to a Lumia 920 Sure, I noticed it was a lot smoother. But, when you have nothing you can do on the thing, How can you push the phone to it’s limits? I had to keep jumping back to the Nexus 4 to use common apps. So, all in all in my experience. I would rather Nokia make an Android powered phone. I’m back with the Nexus and the Lumia 920? Well, I gave him the phone (to keep) to show him what a Elite Windows phone can do, Nothing…

    1. MS-DOS was smooth too.

    2. Windows Phones are quite useless to someone who doesn’t know how to use a phone. Sorry you suck.

  13. Competition is good, it fosters innovation. That said, I can’t see myself ever getting a Windows phone…just too bland and boring.

  14. Its not,really beating Android but WP8 will get an important phone market share im proud,owner of an Htc 8x Wp8 the unfreezable OS :)

  15. i have only seen 2 widows phones in the wild ever. iphone and android is all i see hell i see more old flip phones then windows phones

  16. I’d like to point out a simple mathematical fact. 1.5% of a small pie, is lesser than 1.9% of a larger pie. In fact, the 1.9% of the larger pie, is tenfold larger than 1.5% of Microsofts’ small pie.

    1. I’m sure you’d love to have a 250 million strong pie like MS does with Windows Phone…

      1. What about Android’s pie? Have you thought about that?? 750 Million!

        Show me a link where Windows phone has 250 million.

  17. If by “beating Android” you mean, Android is selling 15x more than WP8, then sure.

    1. lol first beat BB then talk about pos win8

  18. I still have a Nokia N800 Maemo tablet that served me for years. Outstanding hardware.
    Nokia was one of the very best… yet it committed suicide going with Windows.
    A move whose only explanation was that “””former””” Windows CEO convincing… you know who and why.
    Microsoft is unable even to make IE barely work!!
    The whole OS never worked properly, full of weaknesses, it is ‘legacy’ now.
    The point is that Nokia will never resurrect until they abandon Windows completely.

    Come back to life in the Linux world, Nokia!!! We miss you.

  19. I have a galaxy nexus and a nexus 7. Love them to death. But I am glad windows phones are doing better because it will make android better. Having tried out windows phones and surface pro I have to say there is a lot to like. If you have ever tried handwriting on a surface pro vs galaxy note you’ll see the difference. There is still a lot in android that can drastically improve. In fact there are lots of stuff in Palm OS that I wish was in android. But its too bad that windows phone growth will probably hurt android more than iphone. Now there is one line I don’t mind dying off. But then again those lame users will flock over to android and what are we going to do with them? Pen them up in their own little bubble?

  20. why does phandroid even entertain these stupid articles

  21. WP8: the platform that’s only halfway good but only if you buy a Nokia WP because the rest suck, and Nokia WP’s are only available on select carriers. Yeah… no thanks. what a mess.

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