Windows Phone Gaining a Toehold in Some Markets

Microsoft’s new Windows Phone operating system has a lot of ground to make up if it’s ever to become a viable third mobile platform. But with some slick new handsets reaching the market, it appears to be making some noticeable gains in a number of countries.

New market share data from Kantar Worldpanel show Windows Phone seeing significant increases in adoption in a number of major markets for the three month period ending February 2013. Year-over-year, Windows Phone’s share of the U.S. smartphone market rose to 4.1 percent from 2.7 percent; in Great Britain, it rose to 6.7 percent from 3 percent; in Australia it rose to 3.4 percent from 1.7 percent; and in Italy it posted a gain of 7.7 percentage points, rising to 13.1 percent from 5.4 percent.

Not tremendous growth by any means, but given the market and the chokehold that incumbents like Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have on it, it’s certainly worth noting.

Also worth noting: Windows Phone’s growth seems to be coming at the expense of BlackBerry and Nokia’s Symbian OS, which both lost significant market share during the period. In Great Britain, for example, BlackBerry’s share fell to 5.1 percent from 16.8 percent, an 11.7 percentage point decline (and that’s in one of BlackBerry’s strongest markets). In the United States, it fell to 0.7 percent from 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, Symbian’s share fell to 0.6 percent from 2.4 percent in Great Britain; to 0.1 percent from 0.5 in the United States; and to 3.7 percent from 17.6 percent in Italy — a staggering 13.9 percentage point drop.