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YouGov: Android Could Return Nokia to the Mainstream

Alex Spencer

Android smartphones – like the Nokia X range revealed at MWC – could be Nokia’s best chance at reclaiming its market share in the UK, according to YouGov.

YouGov’s smartphone tracking data shows that Nokia has stabilised its position over the last year o so, with an install base of around seven per cent of the UK smartphone market. Vitally, however, those customers hold the brand's reliability, and their previous experiences with Nokia products, significantly higher than the industry average for smartphones (see the graph, left).

22 per cent of smartphone owners are considering getting a Nokia next time they change phones – putting it fourth, behind Samsung, Apple and HTC – and only six per cent expect to opt for a Nokia when it comes to upgrading.

So what's holding it back? According to YouGov, its ties to Windows Phone.

Existing Windows Phone users – two-thirds of whom own Nokia handsets – have the lowest loyalty to the OS. 52 per cent intend to stick with the OS when they next upgrade their handset, compared to 82 per cent for iOS and 65 per cent Android. One reason for this is frustration with OS's lack of apps, which effects 32 per cent of Windows Phone users.

Feature phone users are also more likely to be interested in Android handsets (22 per cent) than Windows (11 per cent) when they upgrade. However, 58 per cent don't know which OS they'd opt for, and Nokia (at 29 per cent) is second only to Samsung (30 per cent) when it comes to picking the manufacturer.

Could the X mark the spot for Nokia?

It's worth noting that the devices are being pitched as a Windows/Android hybrid, and will use the Windows App Store by default. While Android apps can be sideloaded, this is unlikely to appease the average user frustrated by the dearth of apps. It's also worth noting that the is initially being released in emerging markets, though it will presumably make its way to the UK eventually.

It's certainly possible that the Nokia X will be the start of Nokia's comeback in the UK - though, with Microsoft's acquisition of its mobile business set to close at the end of the month, it would be a rather ironic fate for the company which once led the mobile market.