Windows Phone is fastest growing smartphone platform, says Canalys

Shipments of smartphones running the Windows Phone operating system grew 69 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013, making it the fastest growing smartphone platform, according to the latest stats from Canalys.

Android smartphone shipments increased 54 percent year-over-year, while iOS shipments increased only 7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter.

Android smartphones continued to dominate the market, making up 80 percent of the nearly 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013, according to Canalys. This was up from 68 percent of smartphones shipments in 2012.

By contrast, Apple's iOS share of the smartphone shipments fell to 15 percent last year, down from 20 percent of shipments in 2012.

"Microsoft has much to do if it is to continue carving out a growing share of the smart phone market, not least driving the platform down to new entry-level price points, delivering innovation and new features, particularly at the high-end, and proactively working with, supporting and encouraging developers to commit to building compelling apps, and bring its app story closer to parity with its competitors. It cannot afford lengthy delays or distractions, and the combined Windows Phone devices team needs to hit the ground running," comments Canalys analyst Jingwen Wang.

In terms of smartphone manufacturers, Samsung strengthened its leading position, increasing its market share to 32 percent last year, up from 30 percent in 2012. Apple came in second place, followed by Huawei and Lenovo. Microsoft was far behind with only 3 percent of the market, but still ahead of struggling BlackBerry.

Canalys expects Lenovo's proposed $2.9 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google to increase competition in the smartphone market. "A strengthened Lenovo will affect all the other Android partners," predicts Chris Jones, Canalys vice president and principal analyst.

"Lenovo must continue with Motorola's speed-of-update strategy and ensure it can create pull for its smart phones through the carrier channel in mature markets when up against the might of Apple and Samsung. We expect Lenovo to double its worldwide smartphone market share within two years and achieve double-digit market share by 2015 at the latest," adds Jones.

For more:
- see Canalys' release

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