The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the past three months to January 2014, show Android almost snatching 70 percent market share across Europe. what's interesting to note from this report is Samsung's dominance of the market is starting to erode and Windows Phone has yet again been labeled as the fastest growing European mobile operating system.
Kantar has Windows Phone on 10.1 percent share of European mobile device sales, while Apple holds 19 percent, well in reach of both Microsoft and Nokia. While Windows Phone didn't perform as well in Q4 2013 as many had hoped it would, the OS is still on double digit shares (sales) across Europe.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar, explains that "Nokia has continued its successful tactic of sucking up remaining featurephone owners across Europe. Even in Britain, where smartphone penetration is at 70%, there are over 14 million featurephone consumers for it to target. At some point Nokia will have to start making serious inroads into the smartphone competition, but for the time being its strategy in Europe is working. Crucial for Nokia will be its ability to keep low-end owners loyal and upgrade them to mid to high-end models."
That's certainly what we're seeing from the recently announced X family of Android handsets from Nokia. The plan is to move consumers to X and/or Asha, to then be upgraded to Lumia hardware, depending on which price point they're prepared to head into.
EU5 markets includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Looking at data in the charts above, it's clear to see Windows Phone still performing well regarding sales. The only markets where the platform has not seen notable growth are Japan and China. Compared to how other mobile platforms have altered (regarding percentage point changes), Microsoft isn't in such a bad position, should current trends continue. This new plan of action from Nokia with Android hardware could help push through loyal users and ramp up Lumia sales further.
Microsoft also has Windows Phone 8.1 on the horizon, which is expected to be a fairly large upgrade for consumers. Major changes to the OS will include numerous fixes to features and functionality consumers have complained about previously. This is hoped to work alongside Nokia's continued efforts pre-sale to attract more consumers from both featurephones and competitor platforms.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.