Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be a combined small player in the large lake that is the smartphone world, but the pair has at least combined to solidify its position as the No. 3 option after Android and iOS – for what that is worth. Based on the latest survey Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, the Windows Phone operating system owns 81 percent of the non-Android/iOS smartphone market, which in itself a victory for both Nokia and Microsoft as they both try to make waves in the smartphone world.
However, the two companies have yet to make a dent in the overall market because Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to grow with Android and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) share numbers are up from a year ago as well. So while Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have seen the largest year-over-year gain in market share amog smartphones, the pool in which it is dominating has gotten smaller in the last year – in 2012, more than 10 percent of the smartphone market was not affiliated with Android of iOS; this year that number is less than 7 percent.
However, if there is any news that could be looked upon, it could be one measure of loyalty, and that is the number of returns. The top online retailer in Finland recently published its return and repair numbers among several top-selling models of smartphones, and the numbers seem to suggest that those who buy a Nokia Lumia handset with Windows Phone seem to like it better than those who buy an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 or a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Galaxy S4. Granted, this is the Finland market which is but a fraction of the U.S. market, but it may at least give us a snapshot of brand loyalty.
In the report, the most-returned premium-priced smartphone is a 32GB iPhone 5, which had a return rate that was nearly 8 percent. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was next on the list with a 2.3-percent return rate. And of the Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Lumia handsets? The three noted in the report, the 920, 720 and 620, all had return rates well below 1 percent, with the Lumia 920 at 0.89 percent.
The report also showed another indicator of loyalty – repairs. While a high repair rate for a phone may indicate a quality-control issue, if phones are more likely to be repaired than returned, that may seem to indicate that the user is satisfied with the phone in other ways that it is worth it to the user to get the phone repaired and keep it.
What would you expect from the repair numbers? Which is better quality – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung or Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)?