Report: Windows Phone remains the fastest growing mobile OS in Europe

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.

Source: Kantar

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.

  • Lol windows phone....
  • Windows Phone is the most cheerful OS.
  • +1520
  • +1820
  • those china and japan figures worry me
  • I guess it is because of the focus of Nokia in countries like India, Italy, France, UK, Vietnam, Brazil, and others. China has Android as a god; Japan has iPhone as their god.
  • Microsoft has no OEM in Japan. They need to get Panasonic, Sony and/or Toshiba on board. The Japanese seem to be very prideful in their own brands, and without that, Windows Phone will have no impact.
  • Have you seen apples numbers? Its nothing more then preference it seems...
  • LOL 0% ?   There isn't enough people in Japan using a Windows phone for it to even register on this chart? :) Why do the japanese dislike Windows so much?   I understand why China is all about Android, but I scratch my head on the Japan numbers.  
  • I have never seen WP for sale in Japan.  It certaintly isn't offered at any of the major electronics stores and I don't think any of the major carriers (DoCoMo or SoftBank) sell WP. 
  • For your information: - WP7 launched in Japan one year later than the rest of the world (with Mango), with a single Fujitsu device on the smallest carrier (AU) - WP8 never launched in Japan, not a single device, not a single carrier, not even SIM free phones available with the Japanese carriers frequencies.   There is still though an uber-tiny community of people importing Nokias from HongKong and using them in some virtual network operators despite their reduce utility due to total lack of Japanese services (Nokia Here is not supported in Japan, Bing shows you the ammount of information you would expect in Mongolia) and frequency incompatibilities. I still love my Lumia 925 though, now if only Microsoft brought a phone that supported my market.... Until then, saying WP = 0% in Japan is misleading, because it's simply not on sale over here.  
  • Wow, that's an astonishing oversight imo...
  • ;-)
  • MS should stay away from Japan.
  • I "resemble" that remark! I am languishing here in the land of iPhone this, iPad that, Android hell! I m on my second sim free device to use a Windows Phone on a carrier here and I am shocked that MS is slowly throwing in the towel here on everything. My only hope is that WP makes such an impact on worldwide markets that they can't be ignored much longer here. I have seen several in the wild, but it is depressing to say the least.
  • Lol! Sorry but Japan will never embrace anything MS. Waist of money and resource. China is a better bet.
  • As long as WP does not have a sizable share and user base in the U.S. neither will it have anything in Japan. The Japanese market mimics the American market very closely in a lot of things. When WP picks up in the U.S., the same thing will happen in Japan. That's just the reality of the Japanese market. So I disagree with your statement "Japan will never embrace anything MS". WP could become popular in Japan depending on what happens in the U.S. market. I agree, the Japanese market will be a waste of money and resources for Microsoft unless and until WP become popular in the U.S.
  • Xbox never took off in Japan if that's any indication. Therefore I have no faith WP will be popular there.
  • Yes, but that's because PlayStation and Nintendo were there first, and are actually Japanese - and in a lot of people's opinion, in this generation anyway, they are better than XBOX (well, Nintendo excluded haha).
  • Its a good thing its only an opinion.
  • What do you mean? 
  • Almost 70% marketshare for iOS??? Holy crap, I figured the US was the worst with near 50%.
  • Pretty sure the market share for iOS in Sweden is around 70% as well, or at least that was the case a year ago or so.
  • They need OEMs from Japan and waterproof phones.
  • What? I don't get ?
  • Italy, pretty impressive!
  • Italians understand beautiful design
  • That's why they craft such beautiful super cats. Edit: cars* hahaha what a typo lool.
  • Question won't these Nokia devices for the x line increase android market share?
  • Well they won't decrease it, that's for sure.
  • Answer, yes.  But what everyone ignores with the "Android has X marketshare" is that forked versions of Android are even less valuable to Google than real Android, which already arguably makes MS more money (through IP licenses) than it does for Google.
  • Still it does nothing for windows phone if androids market share is continuing to rise.
  • If you read the article about the X line here it really gives some good points, but to sum it are only considering one part of the battle. Some people will love the hardware and pick a phone based on that alone, some will pick on the apps alone, and some will pick the services that are tied into the phone. Nokia/MS is trying to get people to fall in love with their extras SOOO MUCH that their next phone is full fledged Windows not just this forked version of Android with a WP feel.
  • Yeah and there goes that statistic, everybody will be buying that new Windows phone, sorry droid phone that has been all over WPCentral all day, cheaper and more apps, great move Nokia & MS.
  • I think the strategy is a good one.  Not only does the X phone look like a Windows phone (tiles) but it uses all the Microsoft services we use on Windows phones.  Once you get people using skydrive and outlook etc, it makes sense for them to upgrade to a windows phone, not an Android phone.
  • Customers aren't as foolish as you think. Doesn't matter if they use feature phone right now. They know what's sloppy, laggy Nokia. And snappy Samsung. This will backfire like shit.
  • Who said customers are foolish?  And who said this X phone is laggy?  
  • Who in their right mind buy something that "looks like" WP but isn't. Something that thinks its got 200,000 beautiful apps, but it hasn't. ANY low end Android phone lags with more than 10 apps on it. A customer knows Nokia and Samsung as brands. Not WP and forked Android. If Nokia phone lags in 5 months, forget him getting another Nokia, even if its high end. He will get a new Samsung coz his friend told him its faster.
  • Look at BMW. Their 1 series is a fairly limited car feature wise, but has the same stylings as a 3 series BMW. BMW makes the 1 series for one reason, so youll buy into the BMW concept, and when its time to replace it, the features you had to do without will be enough to get you to buy the 3 or 5 series. This is a common business strategy with European companies and Asian companies. There are Chinese companies selling iphone clones right now just so people can be "seen" with an iphone, even if it is an android device. Nokia has that same brand loyalty in Europe. Its a status symbol to be seen with a Nokia, even if it doesn't turn on. Consumers buy things all of the time based on visual similarity. Nokia's not off track here. They put a stripped down version of Nokia here apps on the X, get the customer to start liking them - and then that creates a motivator to upgrade to a full-fledged Windows phone so that they keep what theyre familiar with, but get a better experience. Most consumers dont like radical change. They like progressive transitions in their ecosystems, Thats why businesses revolted againt W8, too much lodt revenue in training staff. And businesses are the vast majority of the revenue for MS, so they are heeded. Hence the Start menu returning to W8. That being said, WP really missed the ball with a lack of VPN. If they had gotten that right out of the gate, they couldve eaten Blackberry's entire enterprise marketshare, Now Android owns that. For a enterprise first company to replace windows mobile (arguably a enterprise first phone os) with one without common enterprise features was asinine. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Samsung snappy? Note 3 disagrees xD
  • There is no carrier featuring WP 8 in Japan, completely closed market. However, if you want an iPhone, you are in luck with every carrier chomping at the same 25%
  • With less than 1%, why is BlackBerry even still listed on these charts? Lol
  • comment in this topic.
  • This is WHY MS should cater to their market.  Forget us here in America until we get our act together!! ;)
  • That wont work aonce most of the major tech websites, blogs and social media are american. they will just report that windows phone is non existent and make things worse for the OS.
  • I wouldn't recommend that. After all the US is the most important market for developers. If the trend continues in 3 years iOS and WP will have a similar market share in the 10s. Thanks to iOS huge losses in market share.
  • Microsoft better hurry up and fix all the bugs or they will lose a lot   
  • What bugs?! A missing feature is not a bug.
  • America @ 5%, nice going!
  • You can credit the 521 for a large chunk of that.  Until the Moto G finally came, it was basically a smartphone in its own price category.  Heck I bet its still kicking ass with the $50-60 deals I see pop up.
  • If its the fastest growing OS in Europe, why would Nokia have made the X line of Android phones. After all, they control 90% of WP; so they should be reaping the benefits
  • Those numbers look good for Windows phone.  Even the USA is up to 5% now.  Not sure if that's "critical mass" but any improvement is good news. The number that really struck me the most however is the huge drop iOS suffered in Italy.  They went from 22.4% to 12.6%.  Wow.
  • NEWS: A new app from Nokia arrives on Windows Phone Store: Space Selfie
  • Good app but its not from official nokia...
  • Nokia Developer, sorry !!
  • Windows phone is growing faster in india too.. And Because of me my whole family uses nokia lumia ;D
  • Right. And I'm shocked why didn't they mention reports from India?
  • I think there is a data issue with china numbers. I see way more lumias in china than I do in the us. On average, 4 or 5 a day. I see zero a day in the us.
  • Exactly same here in india...On average, 4 or 5 a day. Infact i saw more than 10 in a college festival here..
  • I'll be upgrading to icon (929) from Lumia 900 when its available at at&t in USA. Love the platform.
  • My bet is that 929 will never come to AT&T.  Instead we will get a 930, the first true successor to the amazing 920.
  • You might be waiting a really long time then, because there are barely even wisps of rumors for a Lumia Icon equivalent for AT&T. The closest thing is either the Lumia 1520, or another AT&T phone from the 92X series.
  • There are rumors of the 920 successor...
  • This speaks to the new Nokia, and one hopes WP strategy: de-emphasize the OS and focus on the OEM. Nokia is obviously trying a shot across the bow of Apple first. Amazingly, in many markets is is Samsung who holds sway. Nokia is trying to build a new customer base of loyal Nokia phone customers from the bottom up. Hoping it is successful and leads to greater penetration of Windows Phone OS.
  • Won't Nokia's X line eat into potential low-end WP sales? The Nokia X line will directly compete with the 520, the highest-selling WP device,
  • Maybe you are right..
  • Concentrate on EU5, GB, Italy, and let explode out to the rest of Europe... The rest of the world can get the Nokia X.
  • Why does this matter if Microsoft and Nokia don't believe in their own hardware and ecosystem. Check Bing updated for iPhone. is Nadella steering this doomed ship already or not ?
    Another addition is the ability to run multiple search strings on Bing without getting rid of the original results. The app now views what's currently trending on the Internet with a new UI that features full screen tiles, and even features a way to physically shake the iPhone to bring up a random trending story. The Bing update includes a bookmark manager that is supposed to make it easier to access a user's favorite sites from within the app. Finally, any auto-suggestions from Bing can be expanded in the app to refine a particular search string.
  • The Bing app is fantastic on iOS. That there is nothing similar on WP is simply astonishing. In all candor, there is no reason to own a WP...not one...and I HATE that MS has made me feel like such a sucker for buying their crap. Because it isn't true that MS doesn't make great software, they do! Just not for their own mobile OS.
  • What are you talking about? Its all about selling services first. People swap phones a lot more than change their cloud services. Nothing wrong with MS strategy. At last there is a well thought out strategy, rather than try to copy Apple by controlling hardware when MS can't and the Apple model is built on premium only where the MS model isn't they have a good approach now.
  • I'm not so sure.  I've switched from Dropbox to Google Drive to SkyDrive all in the past year. There's no real pain involved in switching, other than the fee I've now agreed to pay for 200GB of storage on SkyDrive. But after a year, I can easily switch to which ever provider I prefer. I just uninstall the desktop sync app and install the competitor's app.  Sure, I have to wait several hours for the GBs of data to upload, but that's all. It could be different if I had subscription music that I would lose with a switch, but I'm careful to buy DRM-free music, such as from Google Play.
  • I would auggest you are not a typical user and waiting hours for GB to resync would not be something folk would want to do often. There would have to be something compelling on the alternative to make people go through that use of their time. Also be aware that many non tech folk don't know what they have or how to go about moving. As you rightly suggest however there are far more complex and rich cloud services than plain storage, which further complicates the challenges of moving. Compare that to mobile phones that are changed annually. Services is a big thing that keeps people on the same platform.
  • go windows phone ;) you can beat android soon
  • Mind share is the greatest Arsenal. If you can't defeat that, there's no defeating Android.
  • I live in Europe and I've seen two other people with Windows phones. We chatted for a while like you would if you have a T-Ford or something and meet another enthusiast on the road by chance. Oh, and I saw a woman on the street last year talking on one as well. Big red Lumia. But she was busy and I didn't bother her.
  • And yet Microsoft is still so US-centric in terms of promotions, Bing support, etc. :/
  • As an Ameircan, I can't say that I've seen a lot of promotions. There was a flurry of TV ads for the 1020, and the weird dancing ads for the Surface a year ago, but not much else. Inside phone stores, you really have to hunt for Windows Phones. The in-store displays are all for Apple and Samsung.
  • True. I was referring more to all the deals and bundles they offer for US citizens, as well as Microsoft Stores only being in North America, and how (from what I hear) services like Bing and Xbox Music are rather lacking when compared to say, Google, if you're over seas. Anyways, in regard to stores: I was at an AT&T Store just yesterday (parents were grocery shopping, and the AT&T Store was just nearby. I figured playing with all the phones in there would be a lot more fun than walking around a grocery store). I was rather surprised that the Windows Phone display was front and center. Like seriously, as soon as you walk in... BAM! You see a colorful display highlighting the Lumia 925, 1020, 1520 and 2520. I was surprised. It was a real eye catcher, it's impossible to walk into that particular store without seeing them. And then the sales reps were actually knowledgeable about, not only Windows Phone, but all ecosystems. It was awesome to see them knowing what was contained within all the OS's they carried. That said, while the sales reps had no problem pushing Windows Phone, highlighting advantages like SkyDrive and integration with Windows 8, the problem was actually the customers. We all like the blame the sales reps, but in this case, the sales reps were being perfectly fair to all ecosystems, but the customers were only interested in iOS and Android. They refused to hear about anything else. I found it quite the role reversal. From the veteran smartphone owners to first timers, they were ignoring what the reps had to say about Windows Phone, and only wanted to hear about iOS and Android.
  • I have yet to have a similar experience, every phone shop i go to - none of the reps even know about windows phone they just spout the same crap and how they use their preferred device, the one or two reps that do know don't stay there long - It's mind boggling. Part of the problem is that when a job opening comes up its given to a friend or relative... (i know as I've applied to soo many before my current job and have a few friends who have worked in a few of the major chains, who have confirmed this).
  • Wow Spain, looks like the old Country is finally seing the light, they had that insane android market share.
  • Happy to se MS  and Windows more and more back in game. To be honest I really dont understand how i.e. : Firefox OS and Jolla Sailfish want to compete with Android/iOS and WP8. If we look at MS, how much effort and money (billions of USD) MS dedicated to be nr. 3 with small market share.  Its hard to imagine what Jolla, Firefox will have to do, to grab at least 1 percent of  mobile market  
  • FF will absolutely compete. They will do so by being free, open, and not at all creepy. No other OS can offer all that. Firefox OS is a moral choice as much as it is a technological one. Hopefully, for the good of us all, it'll be a success
  • Hmm, I've heard that statement before. From Google back when Android debuted on the G1. I've been in tech for 30+ years since Windows 2.0 and RSt238L hard drives. So forgive me if I'm skeptical. Software is one thing, but hardware requires shareholders to make a reality. And shareholders want the fastest ROI possible, And mining data is one of the fastest ways. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • And this is why MS should kill the X as soon as possible. Developers and "tech analysts" only care about numbers, and these X phones, if they sell well, will only increase android's market share, and then those same analysts will say that WP is deaccelerating, that the momentum is over and it will turn stagnant, at least in numbers, and again that's the most important things developers care about. MS should go the cheapest WP for developing countries and advertise it like hell! Samsung became first here because for the most time they were the only ones advertising, then LG came in and I start seeing quite more Lg's day after day. If none of them had advertised heavily this country would most probably still be run by Blackberry.
  • Is that the mythical 5% of the US market threshold I've been hearing so much about that I see? Things are getting better and better for the WP.  It continues to grow at great rates (even if it is lower-end, it's first-time smartphone users which makes them more likely to stay with their brand/OS come upgrade), and Microsoft is showing some real dedication to the OS based on what's been leaked to us about WP 8.1.  It's a good time to be a WP user, or a member of the Microsoft ecosystem in general.
  • Not according to these trolls: lololol. I'm always amazed.
  • These are good numbers for WP... But jeez, zero market presence in Japan? I use to live in Japan and most of them only knows MS for Windows, many don't know (Or care) that MS is also Xbox and other devices like the Surface. That leaves WP in a worst position. Let alone for Nokia, the last time heard about them in Japan was for the N96 and the carrier was Softbank... Didn't cut it. Currently, the iPhone is #1 in Japan, there is few Japanese OEM's for Android like Sony and Toshiba, not everybody likes those phones and since Japanese people will resist the idea to buy a Korean or Chinese android phone... So for them, there is not many choices, that's why the iPhone is so popular in Japan.
  • They know Xbox 100%! Somehow they won't embrace it. WP, good luck! If its not Apple, its not a phone.
  • Are there any numbers avaiable for South and Central America? or Canada for that matter? This kind of data is really interestring to me and I would love a more complete picture of the market! 
  • Always reading Brazil is in the high positive.
  • Wow, that's big progress... If we'll not looking at Asia
  • I'm loving the fact that in almost every market, iOS is dropping like a rock. Looks like the sheep are done getting fleeced!
  • Until the next Apple innovation! Lolzz!
  • Apple can thank IOS7 for that....forcing an upgrade to an unstable os even on their top end phone was too much even for their users. Apple is all about "I just want it to work." This upgrade made it so they dont work as well, which undermined Jobs whole strategy regarding IOS. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Which is great for WP :p
  • Lets hope Microsoft doesn't crush the awesomeness that is Nokia today
  • Wait until the 8.1 monster come....
  • Wow, thought blackberry had somewhat a tiny slim chance with BBM. But seeing these figures - no chance. 0% in Spain, 3.3% drop in the Uk, 1% in the US... They are almost completely irrelevant in the consumer space.
  • Now, i know why LINE on windows phone really bad..
  • I think wp8 live tiles are too big for japan minimalistic feel.
  • It is all because Nokia handset is so cheap.