Data & Research

Nokia powers Windows Phone to growth across Europe, now ahead of iOS in Italy

But Android still dominant, says Kantar Worldpanel

Nokia powers Windows Phone to growth across Europe, now ahead of iOS in Italy

Just as Nokia finally begins to gain ground in the US, stats compiled for Europe suggest Windows Phone now makes up one in ten of all new smartphones sold in the continents biggest markets.

The numbers, which again claim Nokia is the force behind the growth, state Microsoft's platform is making steady ground across the EU5, with Windows Phone sales actually overtaking iOS in Italy.

It's only logical

Android, of course, remains the dominant force in Europe, with nearly 72 percent of the market, but Kantar Worldpanel – which published the figures – claims it can only be seen as good news for Microsoft, which struggled to make an impact with Windows Phone long after its initial launch.

More good news could also be on the way, with Kantar Worldpanel claiming both Windows Phone and Nokia are also showing signs of growth in emerging markets such as Latin America, no doubt thanks to the roll out of budget handsets from the Finnish firm.

"With the smartphone market in developed countries so congested, it is emerging economies that now present manufacturers with the best opportunity for growth," explained Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

"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."

Local brands on top

Kantar's figures mark what's been a positive week for Nokia, which has seen its share in the US market jump sixfold during the last 12 months, making the Finnish company the country's fourth largest smartphone manufacturer.

In Britain, Windows Phone currently accounts for 11.4 percent of the market, and while Android is still firmly on top with 58.4 percent of the market, Apple is expected to improve on its current 27 percent market share over the Christmas period.

Nokia's budget Lumia 520 has made a big impact

China on the other hand continues to see its local brands grow. Domestic manufacturers now make up 44 percent of smartphone sales in the country, vastly improving on the 30 percent share they held last year.

"Chinese consumers are prepared to make a huge investment in their smartphone, with some spending up to 70 percent of their monthly salary on a new device," says Sunnebo.

"With such a high investment, Chinese consumers want to get the best value for money and are increasingly opting for a high-spec local brand over a low-spec global equivalent.

"The message for global manufacturers is clear – Chinese consumers demand value, and overpriced entry-levels models no longer cut it against increasingly impressive local competition."

[Source: Kantar Worldpanel]

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