Rising Windows Phone market share pushes Android and iOS back

Windows Phone now accounts for almost one in 10 smartphone sales in Europe, according to new research data.

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel Com Tech, published this week, shows that Microsoft's mobile operating system has experienced growth in its market share across the five major European markets.

In the three months leading up to September 2013, Windows Phone accounted for 9.8 per cent of all smartphone sales across Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK.

Google's Android still remains the dominant operating system with 71.9 per cent of the European market share, an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

In the UK, Windows Phone accounts for 11.4 per cent of the market, almost three times more than the same time last year. As a result, Android (58.4 per cent) and Apple's iOS (27 per cent) both experienced slight falls in their market share. BlackBerry's share is down to 3.1 per cent.

Kantar's report attributes these gains to the improved sales of Nokia, and also claims that similar signs of growth are emerging in developing countries.

Strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Dominic Sunnebo, said, "With the smartphone market in developed countries so congested, it is emerging economies that now present manufacturers with the best opportunity for growth."

Sunnebo predicts that Nokia's budget Lumia 520 will open the door to smartphone ownership for many of those living in developing countries previously unable to afford one.

"Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot. The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step."