Windows Phone Surges in Europe

Windows Phone Surges in Europe

You're next, iPhone

A new study from Kantar Worldpanel suggests that Windows Phone is about to hit double-digit market share in Europe thanks to a surge in sales of low-end phones. But the best news is that Windows Phone is also poised to surpass iPhone market share in Germany, suggesting that consumers in that country understand quality when they see it.

The Kantar study covers the three month period of time through August 2013, during which time Windows Phone hit its highest-ever market share of 9.2 percent in the five biggest European markets. Furthermore, Windows Phone has already achieved double-digital market share in two of the biggest countries in Europe—10.8 percent in France and 12 percent in Great Britain—and is now within one percentage point of iPhone in Germany.

As I've noted in the past many times, Windows Phone is seeing great success for the same reasons that PC did in the past: High quality devices selling for a fraction of the price of Apple's over-priced offerings.

"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 handset," Kantar's Dominic Sunnebo noted. "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."

Right. My point exactly.

And I gotta be honest. My central hope for Windows Phone overall is just hitting that 10 percent market share barrier around the world. But anytime Windows Phone beats iPhone, or comes close as in this case, it just seems surreal: This kind of performance just never seemed possible. But now it's starting to happen.

Of course, Windows Phone still has troubles in two key markets, the US and China, and to be quite honest again, it can't continue losing both of these. In the US, Apple's iPhone performs significantly better than it does elsewhere in the world. And of course around the world, Android is so dominant that it's not even worth discussing.

But now that Blackberry is officially out of the picture, Windows Phone can set its sights firmly on Apple. And even though it's early, we've already seen some key victories around the world. I just wish US-based consumers would wake up.

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