Windows Phone achieves double digit shares in France and the UK as European growth continues
Microsoft has made significant gains in the European smartphone market, with Windows Phone devices now accounting for 9.2 percent of all sales in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in the three months leading up to August 2013.
According to research from Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, 12 percent of all smartphones sold in the UK and 10.8 percent in France were running Windows Phone – the first time it has ever recorded double digit figures in two separate major markets.
Android remains the most popular operating system in Europe. however, with 70.1 percent of the market, but its growth rate is less than that of iOS and Windows Phone. Apple has also made gains in the US and Japan, where the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C is set to expand market share even further.
Windows Phone share
“After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
“Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony, Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.”
Much of Windows Phone’s recent success has been attributed to its successful pursuit of mid-range customers, with Nokia expanding its range of Lumia handsets to cater for those with less expensive tastes. Microsoft announced earlier this month it had agreed a deal to purchase Nokia’s handset business for £4.6 billion, ensuring both their fates are firmly intertwined.
“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,” added Sunnebo. “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.”
There is even more bad news for troubled Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry, whose devices now account for just 2.4 percent of the five major European markets and 1.8 percent in the US. It recently announced a huge £600 loss and plans to cut 4,500 jobs ahead of a possible sale of the company to a consortium led by its largest shareholder, Fairfax Holdings.
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