Two research houses Canalys and ABI research have come up with their numbers and percentage growth figures for Q4 2013 and both the reports have some good news for Windows Phone platform. Both put it as the fastest growing platform on a Year-on-Year basis, where iOS has lost market share from 2012 to 2013. Though there are some differences between figures between two reports.

ABI research gives a shipment volume and YOY growth of 10.9 million and 104% to Windows Phone in Q4 2013. It somehow looks counter-intuitive, as we have seen Nokia reporting lower shipment figures than Q3 2013 in Q4 2013. Surprisingly ABI research shows Q3 to Q4 increase of 19%.

According to ABI research,

Apple’s iOS clawed back some market share sequentially on the back of the iPhone 5s launch, moving from 15% in Q3 2013 to 18% in Q4, but down year-on-year from 23% in Q4 2012 as emerging markets accounted for most of the growth. “Apple continues to avoid a low cost smartphone product to target these markets, focusing instead on its traditional premium segment, where growth is harder to achieve due to fast approaching market saturation,” adds Spencer.

Elsewhere, Microsoft’s Windows Phone saw steady growth of 19% sequentially and 104% year on year, but still only 4% market share in both Q4 2013 and Q3 2013. The soon-to-be formally acquired Nokia accounted for nearly 90% of shipments in Q4 2013.

Canalys report is more in line with Nokia’s official figures and shows 69% YoY growth with sequential decline of 6% from Q3 2013 to Q4 2013. According to Canalys, Android shipments, grew 54% and iOS shipments grew just 7% in Q4 2013 on YoY basis.

According to Canalys from 2012 to 2013,

Android’s dominance grew with the platform running on 79% (785 million) of the devices shipped in 2013, up from 68% in 2012. Conversely, Apple’s iOS share fell from 20% to 15%, despite shipments increasing to 154 million. Microsoft saw a percentage point share rise to 3% as shipments increased 90% in 2013 to 32.1 million, driven by Nokia’s Lumia devices, and putting it ahead of BlackBerry, at 19.8 million.

While from 2012 to 2013, Windows Phone has seen impressive growth it still has a low % shipment figure of 3.5 to 4% depending on various reports out of overall yearly smartphone shipments. 2014 will be the defining year for Windows Phone, when Microsoft may be in control with its deep pockets.

 Source:  ABI research  Canalys