While Microsoft's Windows Phone platform remained as the fastest growing smartphone operating system in Europe, Google Android continued its dominance in the continent based on new market share figures.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech noted the fourth quarter of 2013 saw Windows Phone "underwhelm," but the Microsoft smartphone platform secured onto double-digit figures for the three months ending in January 2014 across Europe. The Windows Phone operating system's successes are said to stem by Nokia devices, notably the Lumia 520, which was the fourth highest selling handset in the United Kingdom (U.K.) during the three-month period.

"Nokia has continued its successful tactic of sucking up remaining featurephone owners across Europe. Even in Britain, where smartphone penetration is at 70 [percent], there are over 14 million featurephone consumers for it to target," Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Strategic Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo said. "At some point Nokia will have to start making serious inroads into the smartphone competition, but for the time being its strategy in Europe is working. Crucial for Nokia will be its ability to keep low-end owners loyal and upgrade them to mid to high-end models."

Although Windows Phone secured 10.1 percent of the market share in the five major European markets, which include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., it placed third among rival platforms. In comparison to the three months ending in January 2013, Windows Phone accounted for 6.1 percent of the market share, therefore, the platform increased its market share by 3.9 percent by early 2014.

"In Europe Android continues to move towards 70 [percent] share, and the real battle now is among the Android manufacturers," Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Strategic Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo said.

According to the strategic insight director, Samsung's sales in Europe is dominant with 39.5 percent of sales but the percentage is low in comparison to its previous year. A reason for Samsung's decline of sales is the rise of LG Electronics, Sony, Motorola, and Wiko, which represent 6.9 percent, 9.4 percent, 1.7 percent, and 2 percent of the sales market share. The aforementioned companies could experience a boost performance during 2014 following the latest Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.

In the end, Android placed first among the smartphone operating systems across the five major European markets with 68.5 percent, which is an increase of 3.4 percent from the same three-month period in 2013.

Apple's iOS platform ranked second due to a loss of 3.9 percentage points. Although the Apple smartphone operating system comfortably finished second with 19 percent by January 2014's conclusion, sales of the iPhone 5c have improved.

When the iPhone 5c made its launch in September 2013, the iPhone 5s outsold the colorful iPhones 3 to 1. The iPhone 5c started to gain momentum and became the third best-selling smartphone during the latest three-month period ending in January 2014. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, women are heavy buyers of the iPhone 5c with 74 percent compared to 36 percent preferring the iPhone 5s.

BlackBerry placed fourth with 1.5 percent of the market share following a loss of 1.9 percentage points.


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