Report: Windows Phone exceeds 10 percent in Europe's smartphone market

Sales of the Nokia Lumia 520 are a big reason why Windows Phone is surging in Europe.

Microsoft's efforts to expand the use of Windows Phone devices seems to be succeeding in Europe, according to the latest numbers from research firm Kantar World Report. Their statistics claim that Windows Phone's average market share among all smartphones sales has now exceeded 10 percent in the top five European countries (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain).

The new report claims that Italy has the highest percentage of Windows Phone users at 16.1 percent and it actually exceeds iOS sales in that country, which now claims just 10.1 percent. Kantar claims that sales of low cost phones from Nokia have helped to boost Windows Phone hardware sales, adding, "In Britain, almost three quarters of Nokia Lumia sales in the latest period were low-end devices such as the Lumia 520 and 620 – a pattern that is similar across other EU markets."

It's not all good news, however. In China, Windows Phone actually lost ground from 3.9 percent in 2012 to 3.5 percent in 2013. In the U.S, the percentage went up from 2.5 percent to 4.8 percent but Windows Phone sales have not accelerated as much as they have in Europe.

Source: Kantar World Panel

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People buy Windows Phones because they are cheap in comparison with the iPhone. It is not because people love Windows.

Exactly. I have several friends that do not even need a smartphone. They just need a phone and got it since it was the cheapest yet colorful.

Can't wait for WP to surpass iOS everywhere. My only question is, once that happens at what point does Google admit its hypocrisy and deliver a YouTube app for WP?

Romero said,
Can't wait for WP to surpass iOS everywhere. My only question is, once that happens at what point does Google admit its hypocrisy and deliver a YouTube app for WP?

They'll never admit to it - they only provide YouTube app for iOS reluctantly rather than because they want to but assuming they were to launch a YouTube app today for the first time I have a feeling they would ignore iOS along with Windows Phone. It goes back to what I've said in the past - Microsoft need to team up with Vimeo and push an alternative to YouTube because right now it isn't healthy to pretty much have one video sharing service dominate the marketplace.

Yes, anyone interested has heard of Hyper and MetroTube, and I believe the latter was available on WP first. Given that Google can block unofficial apps at any time (the same way they treated MS' app), and how people keep on about the lack of official apps, I'm extremely interested in seeing what excuses, if any, Google cooks up when WP surpasses iOS in market share.

When I visited Italy over summer I saw more lumias than iphones so this does not surprise me. However, I think that moving forward this proves that MS needs to maintain the Nokia Brand, it still has a strong pull in Europe and it would be disastrous for them to abandon the brand. I know they have plans to licence the Nokia name and I think that they will need to do this for a long time to come.

Much prefer WP over Android however I much prefer iOS over WP.
WP needs some changes, the biggest being its lack of apps. Unless something changes when my contract ends summer next year I will most likely end up back on the iPhone.

As for me used to have 900 and 920 but for now I am waiting until they put their **** together creating a unified platform with windows 8 core. Windows Phone has future but 2 or 3 years from now.

It just keeps getting better and better. Now, all that's left to hit critical mass are niche apps and WP8.1. It's supposed to bring features like a file manager, notification centre, flick down to close apps (like Windows 8), apps on SD cards, and Cortana (Siri competitor).

Also, Skype will be a lot better with the release of WP8.1.

Fairly certain I read that the "8.1" release of wp due in 2014 is aimed at Enterprises - vpn access to corp shatepoints and in house apps is going to drive a lot of wp sales to enterprises needing to securely manage byod. Landing the odd 10,000 phone deal here and there to enterprises who are already on maintenance for ms prem and cloud products will drive some interesting decisions for those ios devs!

Low-end is the key. Generation 1 they buy cheap, generation 2 they go mid-range and generation 3 is when they buy your flagship. This is how Samsung was able to beat everyone else and gain dominant ground in a fierce market. Nokia is also succeeding. They already are a bigger player then many big names on Android.

As for China, its time for Microsoft to force an strategic Alliance with a big local player such as Huawei. Now that Nokia is part of Microsoft the idea of being the soul partner of a huge company like MS should be an attractive offer. Microsoft could fully support them including lower or no lisesing fees.

Ronnet said,

As for China, its time for Microsoft to force an strategic Alliance with a big local player such as Huawei. Now that Nokia is part of Microsoft the idea of being the soul partner of a huge company like MS should be an attractive offer. Microsoft could fully support them including lower or no lisesing fees.

That would make a lot of sense, have Huawei produce a 520 like device along with a high end, market the life out of them and assist in anyway. It can only help Microsoft in China.

Sadelwo said,

That would make a lot of sense, have Huawei produce a 520 like device along with a high end, market the life out of them and assist in anyway. It can only help Microsoft in China.

So I can count on your vote in the upcoming MS CEO election?

WP success is good news, some of the commenters here... 'OH they're still gonna fail, just wait and see' what sad folks.

Why would you even want to see an attractive alternative platform fail? don't make much sense to me, choice is good overall

Yep, haters gonna hate. It seems that just because they don't like a platform, that nobody else could, or should like it either. It's very sad.

I for one would love WP succeed. But I just don't see it happen after Microsoft takes over Nokia's business. Their #1 priority will be US, I can guarantee that.

Romero said,
How and on what basis?

Look at all previous product launches - US centric and then reluctantly years later selling to international customers. This isn't a Microsoft problem but a problem with most US based businesses - US centric to the core and refusal to serve international customers even if there is a huge demand for their said goods or services.

Considering that WP's best chance for success seems to be outside the US, they would be stupid to ignore the very markets where it has the most potential to succeed. Will they be that stupid? No-one can "guarantee" that obviously, but yes, if they repeat their past mistakes then they fully deserve to be wiped out.

even with the release of iphone 5s/5c, windows phone is hot on the heels of iphone in Europe. id say in a few quarters, windows phone is going to eclipse iphone in Europe.

vcfan said,
even with the release of iphone 5s/5c, windows phone is hot on the heels of iphone in Europe. id say in a few quarters, windows phone is going to eclipse iphone in Europe.

Regrettably WP main competitor is Android which has as well high end and low end devices. When you enter the low end segment you need volume sales to boost profitability...

Fritzly said,

Regrettably WP main competitor is Android which has as well high end and low end devices. When you enter the low end segment you need volume sales to boost profitability...

youre forgetting the main knock against windows phone is lack of apps. surpassing ios will encourage more developers to target windows phone. ios is a closer target,and I think that is the main focus right now. not only that, but windows phone is also missing oem support. you don't think beating ios wont make windows phone more desirable to oems? that's when the battle between windows phone and android will begin.

Fritzly said,

Regrettably WP main competitor is Android which has as well high end and low end devices. When you enter the low end segment you need volume sales to boost profitability...

In theory you should be correct, but in most places the market share has been at the expense of the iPhone.

vcfan said,

youre forgetting the main knock against windows phone is lack of apps. surpassing ios will encourage more developers to target windows phone. ios is a closer target,and I think that is the main focus right now. not only that, but windows phone is also missing oem support. you don't think beating ios wont make windows phone more desirable to oems? that's when the battle between windows phone and android will begin.

You're partially correct, however, having more apps doesn't guarantee profit. Even for it's much smaller user base, iOS apps are more profitable than Android apps or WP apps. Developers will always look for profits first.

But this is where Microsoft can also win, by unifying their windows and mobile apps, therefore enabling developers to target a wider audience.

stevan said,

You're partially correct, however, having more apps doesn't guarantee profit. Even for it's much smaller user base, iOS apps are more profitable than Android apps or WP apps. Developers will always look for profits first.

But this is where Microsoft can also win, by unifying their windows and mobile apps, therefore enabling developers to target a wider audience.

it will show that there is a strong userbase worth targeting,whereas in the past, the excuses would be, windows phone is too small.

but yes youre correct, the unification is very important,as it increases the user base significantly.

vcfan said,

youre forgetting the main knock against windows phone is lack of apps. surpassing ios will encourage more developers to target windows phone. ios is a closer target,and I think that is the main focus right now. not only that, but windows phone is also missing oem support. you don't think beating ios wont make windows phone more desirable to oems? that's when the battle between windows phone and android will begin.

Well, you raise two interesting questions; the OEMs situation is weird: I would say that if and when a OS market share raises above a X point it should be a given that OEMs level of interest should raise as well; the problem is that now MS is playing the double role of provider of the OS as well as the OEM one. Although there could be analogies I would avoid any comparison with RT and to summarize: in absolute terms, Yes you are correct about OEMs but how some variables will affect it is unknown.

As for apps I can only says this: I am not a developer and honestly I am not familiar with the kind of business model the industry uses; I am not "obsessed" by apps and, maybe "old school", I do not buy an OS based on available, less than ever coming, apps but by the basis of the OS itself. In general terms I would say that the same observations I mentioned for the OEMs, minus of course MS double role which in this case is uninfluential, should apply; again we are talking in general terms: I do not know what, as average, an Apple user spends in apps compared to an Android or a WP one etc.

Mobius Enigma said,

In theory you should be correct, but in most places the market share has been at the expense of the iPhone.

Well, an analysis of the disaggregated data show a murkier picture but without getting entangled in it and remaining to the main subject the point is that for businesses, any business, the importance of market share factor is risible compared to the "profit and loos statement" one. A company can still sell more items year over year and see its market share decrease because, in percentage, the growth has been less than the market itself one but, if company A kept selling the same kind of items with the same markup, the profits will have increased.

And when Microsoft finally takes over the smartphone business... they will focus their efforts on making WP successful in US forgetting about Europe at the same time. They will fail and thus the WP platform will ultimately die.

agtsmith said,
And when Microsoft finally takes over the smartphone business... they will focus their efforts on making WP successful in US forgetting about Europe at the same time. They will fail and thus the WP platform will ultimately die.

Right, just like they have abandoned all non-US English versions of Windows.. /s

Oh wait, they didn't, in fact they expanded the language options by a large factor, and made it core part of the OS to be language neutral.

You know, because so many Americans speak several languages, like New York, Mid West, Boston, Jersey and Southern. /s

Even Apple is faster than Microsoft with their hardware rollouts in Europe. Bing is also great, too bad it shines only in the US.

Thanks for trying though. "/s".

Nice seem like WP is going to stick around even if it never hits #1 it is certainly making a place for itself whihc is all I really care about.

Microsoft took over the office suite market 20 years ago by selling Office for less than the price of Word Perfect alone. At the time Word Perfect and Lotus 1-2-3 were the killer combo for work. Microsoft Office ended their reign for good. Low price and good performance are what customers wanted and still want. $100 Windows phones, cheap but highly functional, are likely to rule the smartphone market in the near future, except for users that want 2 year contracts and don't mind paying twice as much for their phone and service combined. I would buy one over a cheap Android phone any day for prepaid cell service.

I like your statement but unfortunately marketing and brand picture plays a big role in devices selling point. Look at Samsung galaxy series. it really is not the best at anything. but people buy it simply because of marketing and word of mouth.

However is Nokia (still not part of MS) who is burning money.

If Nokia fails in the merge then it will cause a big mess.

Sweet. Microsoft really has the best low end phones on the market right now. I have used the galaxy ace series, galaxy mini series, and a bunch of LG phones and found that the only one to give me a great experience I'm terms of speed is Windows Phone. Very underrated

2014 is going to be an important year for Windows Phone. I expect it to grow further in Europe on a very high rate. Perhaps the US will follow us for once.

Studio384 said,
2014 is going to be an important year for Windows Phone. I expect it to grow further in Europe on a very high rate. Perhaps the US will follow us for once.

Particularly true especially with the launch of much needed software titles as Instagram coming to the platform. As the app-gap (not over all numbers but getting those key software titles) closes I think the one under the most threat won't be Apple but it'll be Android particularly if Microsoft can get the upgrade/update issue resolved so that it is as smooth as what Apple offers to its customers.