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Windows Phone overtakes Apple in Chinese market

Microsoft may still be struggling to make headway in the smartphone market, but if reports are to be believed, the tech giant is coming into its own in the Far East.

According to the chief operating officer for Microsoft in Greater China, the company’s Windows Phone OS has overtaken the iPhone in China.

Michel van der Bel has said that Microsoft’s Windows Phone market share is now 7% – a whole percentage point higher than Apple.

Huge market potential

Official figures have yet to confirm this, but it is very good news for Microsoft. With more than a billion people, many of whom are technologically savvy, China boasts the world’s biggest smartphone market.

The US once held the crown of biggest smartphone market, but was overtaken by China in the latter stages of last year.

Apple is still trying to make a name for itself in the country, but is hindered by the fact that carrier Mobile China does still not sell the iPhone.

Given that Mobile China is the world’s largest carrier, this is certainly an issue for the Cupertino-based tech giant. But it won’t be of much concern to Microsoft, which sees its success in China as a stepping stone to more glory.

Windows Phone just getting started

“We have only just begun,” said van der Bel, who thinks that both the Windows Phone mobile OS and the Windows 8 tablets will see Microsoft clean up in the Far East.

“Our smartphone and tablet-pc are hybrid, making them suitable for the consumer, but also easy to insert within an existing company infrastructure. This will allow us to better anticipate the consumerisation of IT than many competitors.”

The Windows Phone OS has received positive reviews around the world, with the Nokia Lumia range drawing high praise.

It has struggled to turn this into worldwide sales, but if you can get everyone in China using your OS, who needs the rest of the world?