Microsoft (News - Alert) hasn’t had great luck in the smartphone space in recent years. Sure, Windows Mobile did alright back before the iPhone came along, but the platform is now defunct, dropped in favor of the more consumer-focused Windows Phone (News - Alert) operating system. However, despite its unique interface, solid performance on weaker hardware, and heavy backing from Nokia, Windows Phone has yet to find its footing — at least in the U.S.
Indeed, Apple and Android (News - Alert) continue to maintain leadership in the U.S. smartphone market but, according to a recent report from Kantar Worldpanel, the story is somewhat different in Europe. During the three-month period ending in October 2013, states the report, Windows Phone rose above 10 percent market share in Europe, doubling what the platform has for the same period in 2012.
Most of these devices were, of course, on the low-end of the smartphone spectrum, thanks in part to Windows Phone’s ability to run well on 2011’s hardware. The Lumia 520 is also a major factor in this since it alone accounts for a quarter of all Windows Phone devices, being the low-end Windows Phone device of choice thanks to its low price point and relatively solid build.
It’s no surprise, then, that three quarters of Nokia (News - Alert) Lumia phones sold in the U.K. during this period were the Lumia 520 and Lumia 620. The fact that Nokia is dominating Windows Phone sales was likely a major factor in why Microsoft outright acquired the manufacturer’s mobile operations back in September.
As for other mobile operating systems, it seems that Android also managed market share growth in the top five EU markets during the three-month period outlines in Kantar Wordlpanel’s report, jumping from 63.9 to 70.9 percent in a year. Of course, someone had to lose share in the region for this to occur and that someone was Apple (News - Alert), which dropped from 21.2 percent share last year to 15.8 percent.