Windows Phone now a solid third place behind Android and Apple – and fastest-growing

Sales of smartphones based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software are – proportionately – growing faster than Apple or Android handsets, according to new US market data.

A Kantar Worldpanel ComTec study of sales in the three months ending March 2013 found:

  • Android-based phone sales rose from 47.9% share a year-ago to to 49.3% of all smartphones shipped. Samsung, Sony, HTC, Google-owned Motorola, LG and Huawei are among those who sell phones running on Google’s Android software
  • Apple iPhone sales slipped from 44.6% to 43.7%
  • BlackBerry’s share dropped form 2.6% to 0.9%.
  • Windows Phone share grew from 1% to 4% of sales

The Windows Phone platform benefited from Nokia’s ongoing push with its Lumia series, launched in November 2011.

The Finnish company recently released its result for the first quarter of this year, during which it said it sold a record 5.6 million Lumias (in its just-released March quarter result, Apple said it sold  37.4 million iPhones, compared to the year-ago quarter’s 35.1 million).

Nokia is said to have a new flagship Lumia phone on the way to supplement the high-end 920.

The company has also been pushing into the mid-market with the $299 Lumia 560 released in NZ mid April through Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees.