Windows Phone gains ground on iOS and Android in Europe

As BlackBerry continues its slow, painful decline, it appears that Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system is continuing to pick up steam.

According to new data from Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, Windows Phone is approaching double-digit market share in Europe, landing at 9.2 per cent across Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain for the three months ending in August. In Germany, it is within one percentage point of iOS, and has already hit double digits in Great Britain and France.

That pales in comparison to Android, which has 70.1 per cent market share across Europe, "but its dominant position is increasingly threatened as growth trails behind both Windows and iOS," Kantar said in a statement.

"After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find," Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar, said in a statement. "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."

Sunnebo pointed to the low-end Nokia Lumia 520 and 620 as helping Windows Phone growth in the region. "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 ," Kantar said.

The report comes after Microsoft announced that it will acquire Nokia's devices and services business for 3.79 billion Euros, or about $5 billion.

In the US, Kantar said earlier this month that Android had 51.1 per cent of the smartphone market while iOS had 43.4 per cent, Windows Phone had 3.5 per cent, and BlackBerry had only 0.7 per cent.

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