Windows Phone climbing in UK, but cheap Androids reign in Spain and Italy

According to new research, Nokia is helping push up Windows Phone device shipments while BlackBerry is yet to make its comeback felt in some major European countries.

Windows Phone's market share is continuing to inch up in the UK, but sub-€150 Androids reign in Spain and Italy.

According to research by Kantar Worldpanel, Windows Phone's share of the UK smartphone market for the three months to April has grown from four percent a year ago to 8.4 percent, most likely led by sales of Nokia devices. 

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Meanwhile, Nokia's fellow third-place contender, BlackBerry, has seen its share tumble, from 13.6 percent last year to 5.6 percent of the UK smartphone market in the most recent quarter.

Android still dominates in UK, with 56.9 percent of sales — up 6.8 percentage points on the same period last year. It's followed by iOS with 28.7 percent, a decrease of 1.6 points year on year.

Kantar carried out 177,000 interviews with consumers across Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain for its latest report, which found Windows Phone's share across the big five is now 6.7 percent, up three points year-on-year, while BlackBerry's is now 2.5 percent, down 4.3 points.

Across all five countries, iOS accounted for 18.4 percent of sales, down 1.8 points year-on-year — iOS has seen a year-on-year decline in share for iOS in all markets except France, where it grew 1.2 points year on year to 20.1 percent — while Android at 69.6 percent was up 9.5 points.

The different states of each country's economy appears to be shaping smartphone sales in Europe, according to Kantar's global insight director Dominic Sunnebo, who notes that Samsung's Galaxy S3 accounted for just 4.7 percent of sales in Spain, compared with 23.5 percent in Germany over the three-month period.

"The increasing desire for handsets costing under €150 in Spain and Italy has helped Sony and LG to drive serious share gains. In Spain, Sony has a 19 percent share and LG is up to 17 percent from just three percent the previous year," Sunnebo wrote, pointing to the vendor's entry level devices, the Sony Xperia U and LG Optimus L3 and L5 models.

Androids accounted for 92.8 percent of sales in Spain and 66.7 percent in Italy, up 11.7 and 18.8 points respectively year-on-year.

Sunnebo told ZDNet that Nokia was tackling cash-strapped Spain and most notably, Italy — where its share of sales is 10.5 percent — through discounted older products such as the Lumia 800 and 610. Meanwhile, Nokia's UK sales are leading with the 620 and 820.

According to Kantar, Windows Phone share of sales has also grown in the US, where it accounted for 5.6 percent of sales, up from 3.8 percent a year ago, largely driven by Nokia's Lumia devices. Nokia said recently it was expecting to ship more than seven million Lumia phones worldwide in the second quarter of this year.

Android still dominates in the US, growing year-on-year from 50.3 percent to 51.7 percent, while iOS grew 2.3 points to 41.4 percent. BlackBerry sales for the three months to April accounted for just 0.7 percent, according to Kantar.