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

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.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

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.

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