Windows Phone popularity grows in Europe as it cements its third place behind Android, iOS

Windows Phone popularity grows in Europe as it cements its third place behind Android, iOS

Summary: Thanks to mid-range Nokias devices, Windows Phone has now well and truly become Europe's third smartphone ecosystem – albeit a long way behind the two leaders of the pack.


Windows Phone's share of the smartphone OS market is inching up, strengthening its position as third-place operating system, thanks to the continuing decline of BlackBerry and Symbian.

Across five of Europe's biggest markets — Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany — Windows Phone's share of smartphone sales for the second quarter of this year stands at 6.9 percent, up around one-quarter on last year's figure of 4.7 percent, according to researcher Kantar WorldPanel.

The biggest year-on-year growth for Windows Phone was seen in the UK, where the OS almost doubled its market share from 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 8.6 percent a year later. It's a more dramatic story in France: Windows Phone's market share more than quadrupled: from 2.3 percent in Q2 last year to nine percent in the second quarter of this year, Kantar said.

"While flagship Windows handsets such as the Nokia [Lumia] 925 and HTC 8X grab the headlines, it is the low and mid-range models, such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, which are quietly driving its momentum," Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement.

"It is vital for Windows to be seen as a mainstream alternative to Android and iOS rather than a niche platform. Selling large volumes of lower end smartphones is a good way of getting Windows seen in the hands of potential customers' friends and family, convincing them there isn’t a risk in choosing the operating system. The majority of people are trend-followers, not trend-setters, so Windows needs to get as many smartphones to market as quickly as possible."

There were losses elsewhere for Windows Phone, however. In Spain, its market share fell from 2.2 percent to 1.4 percent. It's still the third placed operator in the country though: BlackBerry's market share fell from 9.2 percent to 0.4 percent over the same period. Android is by far and away the market leader in the country, with 91 percent of smartphone sales for the most recent quarter, up from 82 percent a year ago.

BlackBerry is shedding sales share all over Europe: across the five markets, its slice of sales dropped from seven percent to 2.2 percent, according to Kantar's figures. 

Symbian's inevitable decline continued, with its share of sales dropping from 3.9 percent last year to 1.2 percent this year.  It's a figure that will continue to dwindle: Nokia announced recently it had manufactured its last Symbian phone and said in its latest set of financial results that its sales of Symbian devices were "practically zero".

Android remains the most popular OS in the five markets, with a share of around 70 percent, while iOS holds the second spot with 18.5 percent.

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, EU, United Kingdom, Windows Phone

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  • Windows Cementing Its Reputation As A Cheap, Throwaway Product

    So what else is new?
    • And of course...

      ...You own one yourself. You must because you are expressing a very professional opinion here. Oh I get it. You have no clue what so ever. You are just another troll that needs some attention.

      Windows 8 phone are fine. Very well thought out and extremely fast. Nokia and Samsung offers the best Win phones
    • Surprise: It is about the kernel

      Linux fanatics are not going to like this because it is contrary to their conventional "wisdom", but the NT kernel now driving Windows Phone 8 is much better engineered than the Linux kernel driving Android.

      From the start the NT kernel was designed with innovations that now prove valuable when it comes to lightweight processors.

      Completion ports: The NT kernel was designed from the get-to to allow overlapped callback-based asynchronous IO. Linux was designed with knee-jerk traditional synchronous IO, with asynchronous IO as a 2nd class citizen which required expensive polling. Only in 2004-2005 was epoll added (as a kludge) and it is still inferior to properly designed IO completion ports. But that's because this is so basic that it should have been in there from the start. Only, with Linux, it wasn't.

      On today's modern processors where it is all about providing the best performance with the lowest power consumption, the NT kernel designs proves itself: It can run more fluent on lower-spec hardware with lower power consumption than the other mobile OSes. Who would have thought that?

      Another area is in the NTs design with *handles* instead of e.g. file descriptors. Handles are (what we today call) object-oriented. When a process use resources (files, network streams, UI elements) the handle design means that e.g. security/permissions are handled when the handle is obtained. That means it doesn't have to be checked on every subsequent access. Other OSes (such as Android/Linux, iOS, OS X) use descriptors and they need to check security/permission on *every* access. Again, NT kernel avoids longer code paths and offers better performance.

      Microsofts innovations in asynchronous programming techniques also allow developers to create applications that don't stumble or stutter. When it is easier to go truly asynchronous, more developers do. The result is a faster and more fluent user experience.

      THAT is why even the lower-spec Phone 8 devices become popular. They offer superior experience at a better price point.
      • It is also much easier to hang...

        If you like rebooting a lot.

        MS is used to that.
        • No rebooting required

          Funny you mention that since in the 1-1/2 that I've had Windows Phones (Lumia 710 & 925) I've never had to reboot. This is coming off of an Android that had to be rebooted daily and was frustrating and laggy. Couldn't be any happier with the switch.
          • It doesn't reboot -- it locks up

            I had a Nokia 822 for two weeks and it keep randomly locking up requiring rebooting with the buttons (if that worked) or taking the battery out and putting it back. (I sent it back to Verizon.) If you google Nokia lockups you see that it occurs in some phones -- not all -- across all of the Nokia Windows Phone 8 product line. Verizon said there would be a softare fix in early summer. We are past early summer and the software fix is nowhere to be seen.

            Nokia says it doesn't know when the fix will be available.

            It appears -- true to form -- that Microsoft is using its customers to shake the bugs out of its new operating system. I've been using Windows operating systems since Windows 1.1 on 5 1/4 inch floppys and nothing has changed -- always better to wait for SP1.
          • I had similar issues with my HTC 8x

            Bought it in November and exchanged it four times. It ended up being a bug in WP8 that was corrected sometime in September. After that not a single problem with a lockup. It was a widely known issue at the time. Are you saying you are still having problems?
          • Whoops, that should have been "January" and not "September".

            "It ended up being a bug in WP8 that was corrected sometime in September."

            It'd be nice to have an edit button like every other comment forum has.
          • RE: Waiting for SP1

            I support numerous android, Apple and even a couple BB devices. The Nokia devices are by far the most stable.

            My droid not only used to reboot or hang constantly, but it had another neat feature. The navigation app (Google maps) actually drained the battery faster than it could charge (I'm not even sure how that's possible) so I could take it on a trip, leave it plugged in the entire time and still arrive with a dead battery.

            Two months after I got the original droid, an issue with my account credentials (they never did figure this out, or at least they didn't care to share with me) caused everything in my contacts list after the letter "M" to be erased. Because (or possibly due to the fact) that account is linked to gmail, it also erased everything there.

            Now what were you saying about testing on customers to get the bugs out?
          • Funny

            I don't seem to have the same issues with my Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX.

            * The last time it rebooted was when I went for three days without charging it and it simply shut off. I think it was in November last year.

            * The last time it hung was when I was in an area that got no service and I tried opening the browser before I realized I had no signal. It tried and tried to connect but eventually ended up with the "can't connect" screen before I could close the app.

            * The wife and I just got back from a 2500 mile driving trip using Google Maps on my phone, not only for the driving directions but for the walking directions once we reached each step of our trip. Strange how the battery didn't drain during that time, eh?

            * Didn't lose any contacts, but I did add some and they synced perfectly with my Outlook contacts at work.

            I've been a completely satisfied Android user on Verizon for about three years now. I guess it's true: YMMV.
          • Yes this is about...

            The same experience you get on WP8.
            Woned B. Fooldagan
          • funny

            After reding your comment i went and searched fro all, phones like iphones, samsung s4.. All have returned some results. So the point is its just common some times some phones hangs.
          • Then you need to...

            First of all lets be fair in reporting this is a 20 dollar phone. Maybe better hardware is in order if you are dissatisfied. Check your hardware. Not only is your problem quite unusual according to Verizon, but totally covered by warrantee.
            Woned B. Fooldagan
        • I always believed Android

          deserved the reboot crown. I myself have of course never used it (after all Google does not get into any of my tech), but hear from various friends that their Samsung (it is almost always a Samsung) does require a reboot on a frequent basis.

          Meanwhile both my WP7.8 Lumia 800 and my WP8 Lumia 820 have uptimes that would put any Linux server to shame. Both are running happily for 5 months straight now.
          • Trolling much?

            I assumed you have not rebooted your Windows 7.8 phone in 2 years.
            BTW, my Android phone was rebooted last fall when I forgot to charge it.
            And you always believed that something you (of course) do not use needs reboots all the time?
            Are you by any chance Loverock?
          • Sorry, your message isn't very clear

            As said before 5 months and counting, firmware or OS upgrades do require a reboot, which in both cases was 5 months ago or so. Of course on Android there are no updates on most phones, still cannot believe that POS didn't reboot or locked up on you, Android is by far the least reliable phone platform, with the most malware and an automatic data mining by Google.

            And no I am not trolling.
        • Your argument is very dated.

          At least you're not using M$
        • Has MS EVER made a STABLE OS?

          We've been trained to accept the flaky products from MS as just the way computers are........... I've never used Android on a device of my own, but I HAVE been running Linux as my primary OS for quite a few years now, and unlike Windows, it is stable (long term) reliable (long term), and has good performance that does NOT degrade unlike Windows. I don't remember the last time I had to reboot! I've been running IOS daily for over 3 years now, and have had to reboot once or twice. With my experience with Windows....... and I do have a current Windows system for a specialized (singe program) job that it is ONLY used for (and still has stability issues).......does not lead me to have any confidence that WindowsPhone8 will be a winner!
          • Yes, they have.

            Starting with Windows NT 3.1 back in 1993. And stability has improved with every subsequent release of Windows based on Windows NT.
        • You're confusing your Android phone

          for Windows phone.

          Either that, or you're just making stuff up, hoping people fall for it.
          William Farrel