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Windows Phone sales explode in Europe, gain in the US, and pass the iPhone in Italy

Kantar Worldpanel’s numbers for September 2013 show continued strong growth for Windows Phone, especially in Europe where double digit sales are seen in the Great Britain (11.4%), France (10.7%) and Italy (13.7%).  The data collected spans 3 months, up until September.

In terms of sales for September 2013, Windows Phone has claimed 10% for the “big five” European countries combined (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), representing a doubling in sales from 12 months ago, marking a substantial increase from 2012.

Even bigger news is that sales for Windows Phone has surpassed the iPhone in Italy (13.7% versus 10.2%).  Granted, Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c have just launched and are expected to rebound during the Christmas period, skewing the numbers slightly. However, it’s still a significant accomplishment analogous to the situation in Russia, India and Lithuania where Windows Phone is also doing better than Apple’s legacy smartphone.

United States is finally growing

Fascinatingly, even in the United States sales of Windows Phone is nearing 5% versus 2.7% one year ago. That 2% increase in sales shows continued awareness of the Windows Phone operating system, most likely perpetuated by sales of the Lumia 520 and Lumia 521. So far, the United States has established itself as a difficult market for Nokia to gain traction in, but that may be finally changing in late 2013.

Other numbers in the United States are revealing as Android has dipped 2.5% in sales in 2013, along with an expected decrease for BlackBerry. Only iOS and Windows Phone has shown growth in sales, conceivably signaling a changing tide in the States.

Australia doubles

Australia too has seen momentous growth, ramping up from 4.6% sales in September 2012 to 9.3% one year later, a doubling upsurge in sales. While news from Australia does not garner as much in headlines, it’s still a great sign.

China and local Android brands dominate

However, not all news is so positive. China, ironically, is providing to be a difficult nut to crack for Nokia, where sales have dropped from 4.5% to just 2.5% in one year.

The momentum in that country is determined by Android and its low cost, native manufacturers, who have home turf advantage over Nokia. Android sales in that country have grown by nearly 15% in one year with BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone all dropping.

Potential for Latin America

Latin America likewise has seen increased sales for Windows Phone, up 1.3% from last year, however Android is exploding with a record high 23% increase. Even iOS has improved by 2.2%, demonstrating that Latin America is a crucial growth market for smartphones in 2013 and going forward.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel comments:

“Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot.  The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step.  Price is the main barrier in developing markets and the budget Lumia 520 opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.”

Indeed, it appears that Windows Phone, and specifically Nokia, is finally catching on in most territories. The news is certainly positive all around as Microsoft’s mobile operating system is seeing increased sales in the US, across Europe, Russia, Australia and Latin America. Its third-place status is not just a default position any longer, instead, Microsoft is now an active player in the smartphone wars.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

117 Comments
  • Window phone? :O
  • I like your profile photo. Can i use it somewhere else? :D
  • Go Nokia.
  • We'll see what the Microsoft deal does to this progress..
  • Nothing.
  • I dunno, there was clearly a chinese wall between Nokia and Microsoft. With those walls down, we might see fixes, software improvements on firmware and all sorts of goodies. And good news, good fixes and happy customers spread more posetive vibes which increase sales on referals. I can't tell you how many people I know who either got a Windows Phone or considering one due to my evangleism. I think WP is way more modern than iOS, much more stable than Android (and you are more certain of upgrades and better security than Android). With some maturity and settings granulairty (like notifications and profiles) WP will be a very very good phoen OS. The app gap is nearly gone with very few stand out missing apps. Good times.
  • Most people are buying Nokia Lumia and not WP, without Nokia the progress will stop and the trend will reverse.
  • That's just like saying most people are buying Samsung on android and without them there market share would not be as big as it is. Nokia just like Samsung worked hard to get there products noticed unlike some of the other big names in HTC Sony etc. I also remember when wp started out and people were saying that wp would never hit the 10% mark and was a flop and Microsoft came out and said they were in it for the long run. Also you have to give Microsoft some credit too as Nokia were falling and falling fast before they took on windows phone and it has helped Nokia find its feet again and also has very good scores on hardware and software reviews.
  • Well Nokia started falling fast after elop's burning platform leaked memo. well all that is history now, coming to present,  think after MS deal, a lot would depend on branding of teh phone, specially in China, India, SE Asia & Latin America with no Nokia name on it it will surely affect sales, I'm not sure if they would sell them as MS lumia or just Lumia but with no Nokia on it its brand recognition is gonna nose dive, let see how MS has planned it.
  • My first thought was that MS taking over Nokia's phone section would likely be a positive move.  Techiez post certainly does not apply to us here on this site as we are well aware of the switch from Nokia to whatever MS decides upon.   However for those that aren't paying attention to WP news like we are, his point about branding is potentially a valid one.
  • "Well Nokia started falling fast after elop's burning platform leaked memo." Let's look at the facts, shall we? Symbian's marketshare had fallen from 75% to around 30% before Elop released that infamous memo. What do you call that? Falling slow?
  • Great news!
  • Daniel, this is based on 3-months span ending September 2013 right? Very impressed with the 1.9 pt change in the states. Now lets say another 3 months in the future (assuming this is based on 3 month spans) sales finally reach 6% where does this put the actual US martketshare for WP?? any idea?
  • Correct. I'll make that more clear.
  • Great News, now if I could get my hands on the Lumia 1520 variant for T-Mobile.
  • Gonna get my Lumia 720 in a few days *-*
  • Been using a 720 for a couple of months and it's a great handset.
  • Let's hope they keep great, inexpsive hardware like the 520 in the pipeline. I know at least a few people who have bought those just because they aren't expensive and they run the vast majority of apps all of the higher end phones have access to. My kids got a couple over the summer just to use as PMPs with no phone service!
  • Hey, Daniel, can we throw a party at your house when windows phone takes over the iPhone in global market share ;D
  • lol, we'll see...maybe just in NYC.
  • This^^^, I'll show up for food. lol
  • +1
  • I invite everybody to a party at my house when that going success!
    The only fact is I'm from Dominican Republic!
  • BRINGING  THE SODAS
  • I got the chips!
  • Food and chips? wtf? I'll bring girls and midgets, a rodeo clown, a vat of pudding, some vodka and gimp named Rodney. Oh it's on at Daniel's place!!!
  • Sounds good :P ^ don't let me out!
  • What are you guys talking about? I'll bring some iPhones so we can piss on them and drawn them in beer. Good times ⌒.⌒
  • I will see you around 2016-7 then.. :)
  • Finally, but how about the rest of Asia? Any news on that?
  • Any stats for india?
  • If Nokia wants to take China, then Nokia has to create a dual,-sim windows phone.
  • Agreed...
  • I feel like I've read something newer on this. It's coming.
    http://m.wpcentral.com/rumor-nokia-and-htc-both-working-dual-sim-windows...
  • Maybe a cheap huawei running wp could compete with cheap chinese androids
  • Serious question, why are dual-SIM phones so important to people in some of those countries?
  • Prepaid sim cards, we pay less if we text/call a phone in same carrier.
  • Ah, makes sense. Thanks!
  • I kind of wish that the data was broken down by carrier so that we can see which mobile providers are selling the most WP handsets. That could be just me, though. :)
  • Lumia 525 certifaction in China, hoping this will drive sales!!!
  • Now, if Nokia/Microsoft would have add a "trade in your BlackBerry" program in Canada, we'd see a marked improvement here too.
  • As for China, a dual-SIM device would likely go a long way to winning folks over.
  • I've got no beef with those numbers, looking pretty decent!
  • Keep going windows phone..
  • I hope Ms is working on all of the software updates like WP 8.1 real dam good cause that is the main focus right there we need to have a OS just as good as android we have a solid OS but its missing a lot of features I want a more fuller organized windows store we need a better voice assistant we need slide down notification center which is faster then sliding and searching through all the app we need better file management that we could go through and we need better music apps and a slide up toggle center!
  • Anybody else find it a bit odd that Android is even allowed in China given the government control of things there? I'd think they'd be in a rush to ban it.
  • I'm writing from Italy and 1 month ago i got my Lumia 820. I'm very happy of my choice, and it's very nice to see the the platform growing so fast!
  • We comin fo you Apple!   *thumps chest*
  • Yaah kill the isheep
  •     Problem is that WP competitor is Android not Apple. Apple only target the high end segment of the market, Nokia is now targeting the entire spectrum.
  • But.. But... Windows phone is a dead OS! I heard it on the internet!
  • It looks like it doesn't! :P
  • You must have heard it from iCNET.
  • You're right, CNET HATES Windows Phone...that's all
  • congratz :) keep it up
  • Nice job Nokia and Microsoft!!
  • More people are buying feature phones than blackberry? Interesting.
  • Thought Latin America would have a larger increase.
  • Amen
  • I wonder when/if Nokia ever get on the Sprint network. Having all 4 major networks is important.
  • I was thinking the same exact thing. But I'm pretty sure that the hesitation in on Sprint's end, not Nokia's. The second that a high end Windows Phone is released on the Sprint network is when I finally switch from my HTC Arrive. 
  • If I were on Sprint I would get the Samsung Ativ Neo. I had the Arrive myself and loved it but Windows Phone 8 vs. WP7 is a big leap. I have a hard time going back to WP7 when I tried using the Lumia 900 for a couple days. Although the camera is not as good as the Lumias, everything else is on par with the current high end Windows Phones. Plus, I really wish I had the 64gb microsd slot.
  • I'm just afraid of the support that Samsung is going to (or not going to) give to the device. I would much rather have a Nokia device that I know will be supported for the entire length of my contract than a Samsung that may not. Call me overly cautious, but all HTC Arrive owners got burned on updates and I really dont want that to happen again. 
  • One particular well-know IT name have consistently said they won't develop anything for Windows Phone until it exceeds 10% market share, so this is a really key milestone - just need to get there stateside.
  • Who might that be???
  • I doubt that they will do anything even after wp exceeds 10%
  • Again, not surprised with NOKIA's growth in Europe. People always liked Nokia. Many only went away when Nokia failed to immediatly counter-attack the iPhone. Now that they see Nokia is producing good smartphones, they're returning.
    That's obviously good news for NOKIA and by extention, Windows Phone. Would Nokia grow faster if they also made available Android devices? You betcha. But they're managing to slowly getting people to buy WP devices. However, I should also point out a fact that, at least here, has made many people buy Nokias: the price. Retailers have severely dropped the prices of Windows Phone devices. The Nokia Lumia 520, as expected, has been in the top 5 of sales (way way ahead of the overpriced iPhone) but the Nokia Lumia 920 has also seen massive increase of sales once the price came down to around 350€.
    So in a bankrupt Europe, Nokia does well in betting on low end smartphones. And if they manage to produce high end phones at lower prices, all the better for them. (of course, all these efforts will very likely fall to the ground if Nokia disappears, destroyed by Microsoft. I might be wrong...but I don't think I will be.)
  • Once the deal is done, we can say bye bye to positive growth reports for Windows Phone..."May be, May be!" only place where it might grow will be the US. Microsoft will be bringing their OS a quick death by this deal. They can't grow without the "NOKIA's name in front"
  • Agreed. Microsoft is forgetting that people BUY Nokia phones, not Windows Phone. I'm sorry but it's true.
  • Definitely so, for me. Although I had been interested in WP since 2010, it wasn't until Nokia came aboard that I took the leap and purchased a device running WP. My Lumia 900 is still running well.
  • True. Windows Phone is going to tank if they take away the Nokia name.
  • We all seem to agree on the importance of the Nokia name, MSFT likely knows this too.
  • Are you kidding me ? Nokia is the best company ever and producer. As for the price, for example in my country the lumia 920=280€ and the lumia 520=130€
  • MSFT, Please don't screw up WP 8.1
  • positive news 
  • The local manufacturers are indeed playing a crucial role in markets like India, Philippines and China. Here in the Philippines for instance, several local brands are enjoying healthy patronage, and those local brands are of course pumping out Android devices with topnotch specs (build quality is of course non-Nokia level) on a regular basis, making them a really formidable threat. It goes without saying that we'll probably not see any Windows Phone based phones from these manufacturers.  Looking at the charts, it's also interesting to note that although WP is gaining traction, it's mostly at the expense of "OTHER" platforms (except for US and Latin America), with relatively only minimal users lost by either BB or iOS, and Android on the other hand is still growing. This somehow signifies that WP is still not strong enough to really convince people to switch, and that most of the new users seem to be coming from upgrades from feature phones or maybe symbian devices...
  • Awesome.!
  • Actually, Windows Phone increased 70.37% in the U.S. if you do the market share growth math correctly.  IOS, calculated correctly grew their market share by 3.76%.  That puts in perspective the additional penetration that WP is currently enjoying.
  • The best thing is that this kinda results with just one oem i.e. Nokia what will happen when all other start taking windows phone is seriously. M sure in 2014 more oems will jump to windows phone
  • I live in Argentina and everyday I see more and more people (in the bus, train, etc) using Windows Phone (by that I mean Nokia Lumia 620, 720 or 920 -520 arrived a couple weeks ago). It's impressing me.
  • very fitting picture of a verizon phone...
  • We all seem to agree on the importance of the Nokia name, MSFT likely knows this too.
  • You may not know about it, but here in Europe we have a contest called Eurovision, and we call Italy, UK, France, Spain and Germany the BIG 5, the BIG 5 idea was created in Eurovision,  just a fun fact :)
  • I don't remember who won this year ?
  • Stats said it all: most iSheeps are based in US. What's wrong with you people?
  • lol! If it only was so easy.
  • Really can't tell you why we're obsessed with iProducts apart from most seeing them as status symbols.  That, on top of sales reps that just default most people to the iPhone because who knows why.  It's complicated... lol.
  • yea, it's a status symbol, but there's also a tendency to use iPhone as a sort of generic term for smartphone.   It's like calling all copy machines (photocopy) a Xerox.   I think the tendency is even higher with mp3 devices, iPod is the first thing that comes to mind for many people. As I have a "strong antipathy" towards Apple, that's not the case for me....  
  • Nice to see hard work paying of. Go Nokia!
  • But it's dying. It's dead. FAILURE. Kin v2.0. DEAD /sarcasm All my coworkers own a WP8 device. Sure there's just 4 of us but that's 4x more than two years ago! Great news all in all. I hope the next year shows even more promising numbers. Go Nokia. <3 my 920 :D
  • Last year at my work, I was the only one I knew of with a WP. Now, I can count six. It's a large place, but once it catches on and people realize how nice it is, it'll spread like wildfire!
  • last year in my office, there were 2. now it's only me. i'm sad. :( love my 920 <3
  • Mwah ha ha ha ha!! I knew it, and can't wait! Good job, MSFT, for sticking it out! ;)
  • This is great news. But I'm disappointed to see the US numbers not being higher. I'm confident that they will be in the next year. Maybe 7-10%. But this exclusivity crap with ATT has to stop. ATT has a 22% share in the US and Verizon had 34%. Just how many people could they reach with the 1020 if its just on ATT. The 1020 is a revolution in the smartphone industry but Boone is noticing because it exclusive to ATT. I just don't think that WP will have such a huge advantage next time around compared to the other phones like It does bow with the 1020 and they're not doing enough to show it off and have it accessible to more people.
  • "Boone"  equals "no one".....  
  • Also they MUST bring a varient of the 520 to Verizon ASAP. This would make such a big difference in marketshare
  • Yes!
  • Good Stuff!  I've definitely been getting better recognition in my own circles with my phone.  My boss, who is a 100% apple user bought an L520 for his stepdaughter and says it was a great value and it working out very well for her.  He has picked up my L920 a few times to view something and remarked on how nice the screen is.
  • Woah massive increase from last year 4.2% to 11.4 in the UK??
  • Still a long way to go. But hey WP, supporters are here so, AJA! 
  • i just ordered my 925 for mom should be intersting making her jump from the dear iphone :P
  • Please Microsoft! Keep at least the LUMIA name once you complete the acquistion. Its brand recognition is now starting to give fruits, you can't just kill it and start it all over again with a new brand. LUMIA has to live!
  • And yet still not even introduced in Japan (meaning WP8) ...
  • Good! As it grows more manufacturers should get interested. Like to see what Sammy is cooking up next.
  • This is great!
  • The design of nokia phones really cater more to Europeans really elegant taste in curves and shiny colorful objects.  It's almost like the retro 80's of the US.  Also the design of windows phone OS is really more eye catching to europeans. 
  • Weren't these numbers released over a month ago? When I saw the headline I was hoping for newer numbers.