Microsoft is celebrating its best ever period of Windows Phone sales in Europe, a further sign that the third-placed OS is beginning to pick up momentum.
Led by the improved critical and commercial performance of Nokia's Lumia range, Windows Phone averaged 9.2 per cent of phones sold in Europe's five top markets.
According to research company Kantar Worldpanel, the OS is performing best of all in the UK, where it has notched up 12 per cent of the market in the three months leading up to August 2013. That's a 7 per cent increase based on last year's figures.
In France, it's slightly lower at 10.8 per cent, whereas Germany, Italy and Spain are pushing to make double digits.
Android still leads the way with a 70.1 per cent share, while Apple's iOS sits on 16.1 per cent. Microsoft is certainly gaining ground on Apple in the region, while BlackBerry has slipped further to just 2.4 per cent in Europe.
The accelerated sales in Europe are great news for Microsoft following its recent buyout of Nokia's devices and services division, especially seeing as 9 out of 10 Windows Phones sold are manufacture red by the Finnish manufacturer.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel said: “After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find. 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.”
He added: “Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low and mid range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone."
In Microsoft's US homeland, however, it's a different story. Windows Phone's share has only grown from 2.6 per cent to 3 per cent, while Apple continues to take the largest slice of the pie.