Windows Phone takes more of Europe's smartphone market amid signs of a Nokia comeback

Windows Phone takes more of Europe's smartphone market amid signs of a Nokia comeback

Summary: Windows Phone has hit double-digit share in two of Europe's biggest mobile markets, thanks to Nokia shifting more low to mid-range handsets.


As you might expect, new research out today shows that Android is Europe's favourite smartphone OS by a country mile. But, further down the table, Windows Phone is turning into a serious contender.

According to figures out today from researchers Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, Android featured on just over 70 percent of smartphones sold in the three months to August across Europe's five biggest markets: Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Equally unsurprisingly, iOS is in second position with 16 percent of the smartphone market in Europe – a year on year rise of around two percentage points for both OSes.

Windows Phone meanwhile continues to grow its share in the five countries, hitting 9.2 percent – around double its 5.1 percent share for the same period last year.

The jump has been fuelled by significant gains in the three major European markets: France, Germany and Great Britain. In the latter, its share has risen from 4.5 percent a year ago to 12 percent today, while in Germany it's grown from 3.8 percent to 8.8 percent – the first time it's hit double digit share in either country.

In Germany, that puts Windows Phone only one percentage point behind iOS in market share.

"Windows Phone's latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia's expansion into the low and mid range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone," Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in a statement.

And, despite recent turbulence and a proposed €5.4bn takeover by Microsoft, Windows Phone's main hardware champion Nokia is growing its own market share across some of Europe's biggest markets. (Nokia accounted for four in five of all Windows Phone device sales across the five markets.)

For the three months to the end of August, Nokia bagged 7.8 percent of all smartphone sales, up from 6.9 percent a year ago, inching up on third-placed Sony, whose share stands at 8.2 percent, a slight rise on a year ago. LG is also seeing something of a comeback, increasing its European share to 6.1 percent from 2.1 percent a year ago.

Following its recent troubles, BlackBerry's share has seen the biggest dip in Europe, falling from 5.8 percent of all smartphones sold in the five markets to 2.4 percent today.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Mobile OS, Nokia, Smartphones, EU, United Kingdom, Windows Phone

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  • Will MS Buyout disrupt these gains?

    I know MS has purchased Nokia's phone business, but I am not sure what that means. Will the Lumia phones still be made? Is there any info on this? Am I first?
    • Will the Lumia phones still be made

      Why would not be? There are at least six new devices coming in:
    • Same design teams...

      at Nokia, but he phone will probably get a different name... before the purchase MS had said they didn't need to develop an MS branded phone because they had so much influence over Nokia's designs. So apparently there's been a great deal of collaboration so far with the phones that are on the market and in development now.
      widow maker
      • LUMIA

        when Microsoft bought Nokia devices business, both Lumia and Asha brands were part of the deal. So basically, there will always be Lumia phone but without the Nokia branding, Asha phones have a different story
    • I think so...

      as apparently, MS will be removing the Nokia branding from the phones... these will now be MS phones. They don't carry the same phone brand recognition throughout the world that Nokia does. In the short term, I think this will slow the growth of Nokia, but in the long term, with the software/hardware now under the same roof, we could see some very innovative new designs/features.
      • They purchased the rights . . .

        . . . to use the Nokia name for 10 years. That doesn't mean they will, but if were smart, they would not throw away a brand with the sort of good will that Nokia has. That's a huge "if", though, and based on Microsoft's naming and branding over the last couple years ("Windows RT", "Metro/Modern"), I'm leaning toward "not smart".
        • Only for Feature Phones...

 Asha. They do not have the rights to the Nokia brand for smartphones, i.e. Lumias. Hopefully they still keep the Lumia brand, but the Nokia brand will most likely disappear from the Lumia smartphones. Lumia is pretty well recognized and liked, so hopefully removing the Nokia brand will not hurt. If MS decides they want to continue to use the Nokia brand on the Lumia, they are going to have to pay up more cash. I just don't know that Nokia wants to let them.
        • Nokia has made it easy

          Nokia branding her Windows phone LUMIA makes transition easy, you don't think. I can see Nokia Lumia changing to Lumia then remain Lumia phone
      • Pure FUD. Microsoft bought the rights to both the Nokia and Lumia brands

        They can continue to use them for 10 years. They obviously did this for the purpose of continuing to use them. This gives them plenty of time to let WP establish itself. It's growing very quickly.
        Johnny Vegas
    • No way to know

      It is absolutely possible that Microsoft will turn Nokia gold into straw. Microsoft is clueless when it comes to marketing to consumers. Nokia, OTOH, was/is brilliant at it. If Microsoft is arrogant, they will change "Nokia" to "Microsoft" and try to impose their marketing "brilliance" on Nokia devices. But to the extent that they just let the Nokia device folks (both engineering and marketing) keep doing their thing, this can all work out.
    • Just my opinion, but i would think the reason why MS wanted Nokia was Lumia

      I can't imagine the Lumia line gonig anywhere. its been highly successful. Just today there is a report stating Lumia is almost tied with iOS is some EU countries. That's pretty amazing.
      A Gray
    • There is still one issue Microsoft didn't watch for...

      For ages, Nokia phones were known and loved for one primary reason: they were the most compatible GSM phones and worked in almost any reception conditions. The old joke would say, that if your Nokia phone does not have coverage, no other will....

      This was all possible because Nokia both designed and manufactured the base stations and the mobile phones. They had very good knowledge of the tricks involved and only few other vendors could match them (Alcatel, Siemens, Ericsson) -- but these more or less left the phone business years ago.

      Microsoft, obviously did not purchase the base station business. So current designs will work ok, Microsoft could stamp and sell them as long as there are willing customers -- but new developments in this technology will not come from Nokia. Microsoft will start licensing the technology from whoever makes it best/cheaper (Qualcomm?) but their phones will no longer carry this Nokia phone feature.
      • @ danbi

        What is there to license except FRAND based patents for GSM/GPRS or CDMA/LTE radio communication mechanisms?

        Apple licenses them. So does Samsung. Apple does not perform R&D in cellular technologies. Neither does it manufacture BTS or the whole BSS complex or the MSC/NSS subsystems. But it does just fine.

        The only market where Apple had a problem was with the TD-CDMA channel access method supported exclusively in China. And TD-CDMA is a variant of CDMA spectrum access methods.

        I do not work for Nokia. But AFAIK, none of the hardware or software algorithms implemented with radio communication (channel access, channel coding, channel modulation etc), authentication using location registries, handover using MSCs etc with older GSM/CDMAOne or current HSPA/UMTS/EVDO technologies or newer LTE/Wimax radio technologies or BSS technologies should have anything specific to the mobile phone except for the support of the necessary endpoint coding and authentication protocols.

        The bigger and real problem for Microsoft is the fact that they now have a mobile handset division. And they need to quickly digest the fact that they are now a hardware company doing hardware component buying in mass volumes etc as well as doing software OS integration including all sorts of hardware and software R&D. There were never a serious hardware systems company except for Xbox. But mobile phones are a different business.

        Apple could make the transition from being a PC maker to becoming a mobile phone maker. Can Microsoft achieve this business mindset transition seamslessly? That is the real question here. The technology support will experience no hiccups as you mention.
  • It WILL be interesting to see if Europe embraces or shuns a MS owned...

    Nokia Phone business. Nokia was Finish, and I think some people still felt a loyalty. They may or may not like a MS owned phone.
    • Probably irrelevant

      Nokia is still well regarded in Europe, but it's falling, in one way it will no longer be an European brand, but from other prism there will be a big, that can be trust, company behind the name.
      • how many non-geek buyers would care?

        just ask a random stranger if he/she knows that MS is buying Nokia's phone business. he has probably heard something but didn't care enough to pay attention
    • The ownership makes no difference

      Nokia is owned primarily by global investors, just like Microsoft. Unless Microsoft close down the design centres in Finland and try to design everything in the US, the change in ownership from one global corporation to another makes no difference. The Nokia/MS mobile phone business will still be effectively Finnish.
  • From Europe Here

    I know quite a few people here who have converted to WP8 from both iOS and Droid, and in all cases (I know, small sample and all), the first decision was to go to Windows Phone, then chose the best handset for them (99% of the time that big Lumia thing with the metal case, sorry not that familiar with their lineup)
  • 8.8% is double digits?

    Not sure how you are counting those digits but 8.8% is not double digits.
    • In Great Britain

      The share it's now 12%.