We knew Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS was gaining market share, but we didn’t know how fast. It’s been awhile since we’ve posted quarterly IDC numbers and we normally like to stick with those to give users a better view of OS growth overall.
The latest numbers from Kantar WorldPanel, however, were enough to make us turn in our chairs. According to its most recent data, Windows Phone is approaching double-digit market share in Europe, which would be the first time that the OS has broken this much ground over a wide region.
The OS currently holds 9.2 percent across Great 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. Meanwhile Android growth has slowed to a near halt.
Android growth has slowed dramatically
“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.”
The Nokia Lumia 520 continues to be a top seller
Sunnebo attributes the lion’s share of Windows Phone growth in the region to the low-cost Nokia Lumia 520 and 620, two devices that Microsoft has openly said are just the beginning of the low-end Windows Phone spectrum. The company behind Skype will likely expand its range of low-end devices once it completes its purchase of Nokia’s Software and Services Division.
As Windows Phone continues to grow, inevitably it will make some calling and messaging app developers give the platform a second glance. ooVoo and Tango on Windows Phone 8? Who would complain about that?