CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer discusses new features available on Windows Phone 8 at its launch last October

Windows Phone overtakes Blackberry to claim third

Windows Phone has overtaken Blackberry as the third most popular operating system (OS) behind leaders Android and Apple.

Microsoft’s mobile OS has reached its highest ever share of the smartphone market, according to the latest findings from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which shows Windows Phone is responsible for almost one in 10 smartphone sales across five major European markets, during the three-month period to the end of July.

In Britain, Windows Phone – the operating system on some lower-priced smartphones such as Nokia – makes up 9.2 per cent of smartphone OS sales. This is up from 4.2 per cent during the same period last year.

Windows Phone is still some way off Android – used on Samsung and HTC phones – with 55.2 per cent of the market share in Britain, which is ahead of iOS – featured on the Apple iPhone – with 31.1 per cent.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: "Android and Apple take the lion's share of the headlines and continue to dominate smartphone sales, so it's easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary.

"Windows Phone, driven largely by lower priced Nokia smartphones such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico.

“For the first time the platform has claimed the number two spot in a major world market, taking 11.6 per cent of sales in Mexico."

BlackBerry had been the third most popular OS this time last year, but sales have tailed off – commanding just 3.5 per cent of the market share, down from 11 per cent in Britain a year ago.

Globally, Apple and Android continue to dominate sales. Android is far stronger across the major European markets and China where it accounted for around 70 per cent of smartphone sales during the past quarter, while Apple continues to perform very well in the USA where it has grown its share to 43.4 per cent of sales.

Sunnebo said: "Windows Phone's success has been in convincing first-time smartphone buyers to choose one of its devices with 42 per cent of sales over the past year coming from existing feature phone owners.”

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