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Windows Phone progress in Europe can take RIM’s number three position in the market

The smartphone market in Europe can see some changes in landscape as new study reveals that Microsoft’s Windows Phone is gaining steam and seemingly in a good position to overtake RIM’s BlackBerry number three position in the continent.

The research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has shown that the low cost hardware provided by Nokia to Microsoft is paying off, threatening RIM’s chief executive’s remark when he said “we have a clear shot at being the number three platform on the market”.

The Italian smartphone market looks good for Microsoft and Nokia as Windows Phone reached 10.4% share within three months until September 2, 2012. It’s the first time that Windows Phone achieved a double-digit figure for a market share in any country. RIM’s performance was not that good after its market share fell from 4.8% about a year ago to only 3.5%.

Market share does show everything though as it only indicates a picture of sales of units but not the number of devices in use, known in the industry as the “installed base”. The research from Kantar is also a snapshot of consumer sales, not corporate.

The Windows Phone platform also shows a slight increase in total sales across EU’s five big countries–Germany, Spain, the UK, Italy, and France. The platform now enjoys a one point rise compared to a year ago’s figure of 4%. In contrast, RIM’s shares have dropped from 12.2% to 6.4% during the same period.

Despite the gains in Europe, the real challenge for both Windows Phone and BlackBerry is how to gain a strong foothold in the United States, where iOS and Android platforms dominate garnering a total of 93% of all smartphone sales in the same period. Android platform is still the number one in the top five big countries in Europe, enjoying an 82.5% share, while iOS has a 14% share.

Kantar also shows that Samsung is the undisputed leader in the rest of the market across the “big five” with its 48%. Sony is also performing well in the region, outselling BlackBerry and Nokia phones with its Experia phones.

Android’s market share in the United States dropped from 62.9% about a year ago to 59.6% recently. Apple’s iPhone is the only platform showing a positive growth from 24.6% from last year to 33.6% now.

In other countries around the world, Android still rules though. It tops in the U.K. with 62.5% of sales now from last year’s 49.9%; in Germany from 51.4% to 786%; in Italy from 37.2% to 58.7%; in France from 47.8% to 61.5%; in Spain from 55.2% to 84%; and in Australia from 48.8% to 65.8%.

In Brazil, Android had achieved 47.1% of sales from last year’s 19.6%.

In the United Kingdom, about 57.6% of all British mobile phone users own smartphone, which comprises 80.4% of all sales in the country in the 3-month period.

source: guardian

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