Android losing customers to Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone?

By Jordan Mammo , Jun 03, 2013 12:56 PM EDT

Most people acknowledged that Microsoft faced an uphill battle when it entered the smartphone market, even with Nokia and the Lumia line-up by its side, but it may be starting to show some signs of life in the United States. And it's making gains by stealing from Android.

For the three months ending in April 2013, Windows Phones managed to make up more than five percent of all U.S. smartphone sales (5.6 percent to be exact).

The data comes from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which calculates smartphone sales and tracks mobile phone usage. The 5.6 percent share of sales is roughly the same percentage that Microsoft took compared to the previous Kantar results, but it actually represents a growth of 1.8 percent over the same time last year.

According to Kantar, the Windows Phones most responsible for Microsoft's gains are those from the Nokia Lumia line. Perhaps more interesting, though, is that nearly a quarter of all Windows Phone buyers actually migrated over from Android devices. An additional 25 percent decided to stick with Windows Phone when they upgraded, and about 42 percent chose Microsoft when moving up from a more basic feature phone.

Microsoft is even gaining users among the younger crowd, typically perceived to stray away from products not seen as "cool." Could a shift be underway regarding Microsoft's image?

"It's not just about capturing the market that is yet to upgrade," Mary-Ann Parlato, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst, said in a the firm's report. "Windows is also seeing success in the younger group. When looking at those who changed device, between 2011 and 2012 Windows was more successful at capturing older consumers aged 50-64. But when looking at those changing now and in the last year, we're seeing Windows now gaining share among those aged 25-34."

At this point, though, Microsoft still has a long way to go. It may have peeled off some Android users, but sales for phones running Google's operating system still grew by 1.4 percent. That gave Android more than 50 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales during this time. Apple's iOS, meanwhile grew 2.3 percent over last year and landed with 41.4 percent of sales.

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