Microsoft’s Windows Phone poised to strip share from Android

Android’s continued dominance in the smartphone space is anything but guaranteed according to a recent survey conducted by market research firm The NPD Group. And it’s not just Apple’s iPhone that is drawing consumer attention away from Android according to the firm, it’s Microsoft’s emerging Windows Phone platform as well. “The Android juggernaut continues, and that’s not great news for some of their OS competitors,” said NPD research director Linda Barrabee in a statement. “For example, one-third of BlackBerry smartphone owners are most interested in Android for their next smartphone purchase.” But while the Android platform is found on at least half of all smartphones purchased over the past three quarters according to NPD data, consumer interest may be shifting elsewhere. Read on for more.

Of consumers who intend to make a smartphone purchase in the near future, almost half (44%) said they would consider phones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Microsoft still has a lot of work to do as it looks to become a viable third player in the smartphone game, however. NPD notes that 45% of¬†consumers don’t even know that the platform exists. “Windows Phone 7 has a way to go before consumers really understand what it is,” Barrabee added. “But with the right marketing mojo, apps portfolio, and feature-rich hardware, Microsoft could certainly improve its standing and chip away at Android’s dominant market position.” Some analysts believe Windows Phone adoption is about to explode; Pyramid Research senior analyst Stela Bokun predicted this past May that Microsoft’s share of the global smartphone market could surpass Google’s share in 2013.¬†The NPD Group’s full press release follows below.

Android On Top For Now But Consumers Also Eyeing Windows Phone 7 for the Future

Despite Android’s dominant position in smartphone operating systems, its continued primacy is not guaranteed; nearly half of smartphone owners and intenders are considering Windows Phone 7 for their next purchase, according to the “Android: Variation and Value-Add” report.

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., September 20, 2011 – According to Connected Intelligence, a service from The NPD Group that analyzes the confluence of connected devices, access, and content, Android is the preferred operating system (OS) among current smartphone owners and those who intend to buy a new smartphone in the next six months. Android not only generates more interest than any other OS (63 percent), but it is also the platform consumers were “most interested in” (36 percent).

“The Android juggernaut continues, and that’s not great news for some of their OS competitors,” said Linda Barrabee, research director for Connected Intelligence. “For example, one-third of BlackBerry smartphone owners are most interested in Android for their next smartphone purchase. That said, Android is also experiencing continued competition from Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as some nascent competition from Windows Phone 7.”

According to Connected Intelligence’s “Android: Variation and Value-Add” report, Android market momentum is unquestionable — comprising at least half of all smartphone purchases for the past three quarters; however, Android’s continued market dominance is in no way guaranteed. In fact, 44 percent of smartphone owners, and those who intend to buy one, are considering purchasing a Windows Phone 7 (WP7) device.

Even so, there are a number of hurdles. For example, 45 percent of consumers are still not aware of Windows Phone 7. Furthermore among the 50 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a smartphone in the next six months, but who are not interested in Windows Phone 7, the most popular reason given also centered on lack of awareness (i.e., 46 percent felt they “don’t know enough about it”). The second most offered reason was OS ecosystem lock-in (i.e., 21 percent said they have “too much time or money invested in another smartphone OS.”)

“Windows Phone 7 has a way to go before consumers really understand what it is,” Barrabee said. “But with the right marketing mojo, apps portfolio, and feature-rich hardware, Microsoft could certainly improve its standing and chip away at Android’s dominant market position.”

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