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Windows Phone creeping up on RIM in Europe

Google’s Android is the operating system of choice for many smartphone and tablet makers, whether it’s the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or its predecessor Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

So new research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which reveals that Google’s OS takes 68.5% of the market share in the “big five” EU countries, is hardly groundbreaking.

What is does reveal though is that Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is gradually coming to the forefront in the smartphone market, buoyed by the success of recently launched low-cost Windows Phone devices from Nokia. Here’s how things are shaping up in the current market.

Windows Phone set to make its mark in Europe?

Although the research identifies that Windows Phone has a long way to go before it can match the success of Android or Apple’s iOS, what it does point out is that it may be in with a chance of knocking RIM’s Blackberry OS off its third place in Europe.

As an example, in the 12 weeks to 2 September 2012 Windows Phone achieved a 10.4% share of the market in Italy.

This is compared to RIM’s BlackBerry OS, which saw its share dip from 4.8% in the same period a year ago to just 3.5% this time.

Although RIM still edges ahead in the “big five”, its 6.4% share of the market has almost halved from 12.2% a year ago. In comparison, Windows Phone now has a 5% share, up one point from a year ago.

Windows Phone a challenger to the bigger players?

Android and iOS combined take a healthy 82.5% share of the big five, making the two operating systems the undisputed power houses of the European smartphone market.

Not to be outdone, Samsung also has a stronghold in the “big five” with a 48% share, no doubt helped by devices such as the Galaxy S3.

Where Windows Phone might be able to play a game of catch up is with Apple iOS, which alone occupied just 14% of the “big five” market.

With companies such as HTC recently launching the 8S and 8X smartphones, only time will tell if other companies will follow their lead and ‘go big’ on Windows Phones.

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