Windows Phone 8 Makes Gains In Europe As Android Growth Slows

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Windows Phone 8 trebles market share in the UK as smartphone penetration reaches 62 percent

Windows Phone 8 has almost trebled its share of the UK smartphone market in the last year, although Android retained top spot ahead of iOS in second place, according to December data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

The Google mobile operating system heads the table in a number of key world markets, including China, Spain, Australia and Germany, however there are signs that growth is slowing down. Apple controls more than half the smartphone market in the US, having exceeded the 50 percent threshold for the first time in November, and two thirds of the Japanese market.

However there are signs that Windows Phone 8 is beginning to gain traction in Europe, with new handsets from HTC and Nokia winning favour with consumers. Its share of the UK smartphone market leaped from 2.2 percent this time last year to 5.9 percent, while it now controls 13.9 percent of Italian smartphone sales compared with 2.8 percent a year ago.

Windows Phone 8 gains

“It has been far slower than Microsoft would have liked, but Windows Phone is now starting to gain respectable shares in a number of key European countries,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “However, its performance in the Chinese and US markets remains underwhelming. As the two largest smartphone markets in the world, these remain key challenges for Microsoft to overcome during 2013.”

Samsung remains the most popular handset manufacturer in the UK, controlling 35 percent of sales, although Apple is a close second with 32 percent. There was good news for Nokia here too, as smartphone sales rose to 6.2 percent.

Smartphone penetration in the UK has now reached 61 percent, but not everyone received a boost from this news. Although the BlackBerry 9320 was the most gifted handset in December, RIM’s market share dropped to 6.4 percent from 16 percent last year. The Canadian manufacturer’s hopes for a revival rest on the launch of smartphones running the BlackBerry 10 operating system later this month.

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