Ok – we’ve got a question for you. What’s the second most popular operating system in Latin America? As the roulette wheel of your brain spins between iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone and (maybe?) Symbian, we’ll go and make a cup of tea. Ok, finished? We’ll tell you. A new report by IDC shows that the second most popular operating system in Latin America is (drumroll) Windows Phone.
The report shows that Windows Phone has been ranked second in Mexico for the second consecutive quarter, and for the second quarter of 2013 it also ranked second in both Colombia and Peru. In other countries (including Argentina, Chile and Brazil) it climbed to third. Interestingly, Microsoft emphasise the availability of their low-end devices as being a major factor in their success in LatAm, something which Apple will certainly be making note of.
In fact this is probably the best explanation for how Windows Phone have managed to be so successful. The lack of a cheap iOS device puts them a strong disadvantage in less mature markets and Blackberry’s once-dominant position in Latin America has been in near free-fall in recent times (a trend admittedly not unique to LatAm). So what this doesn’t mean is that Windows Phone is poised to become the second most dominant ecosystem in Europe and the US. It is, however, a good sign that Windows Phone is solidifying its position as the third choice operating system (again, see the decline of Blackberry) – and has the potential to be a real rival to Android in developing markets.
Everyone who’s been calling for us to build a Windows Phone app can be feeling pretty smug at this news. It’s definitely something we’re interested in doing, but probably won’t be happening all that soon. Feel free to keep bullying us about it on twitter though!