pinky-and-the-brain-WinPho

Windows Phone’s market-share march continued apace during the three months ended in September, charting some significant growth abroad.

In the third quarter of 2013, Windows Phone accounted for nearly 10 percent of all smartphone sales in the European Union Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom), research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Monday. That’s nearly double the share the OS claimed during the same period last year.

Even more noteworthy: Windows Phone now holds an 11.4 percent sales share of Great Britain’s smartphone market, and in Italy it has actually overtaken Apple’s iOS, surging to capture a 13.7 percent share.*

In Australia, Windows Phone charted an equally impressive gain, rising 4.7 percentage points to nab a 9.3 percent share of new smartphone sales there. In Latin America, it increased its share by 1.3 percentage points, to 5.8 percent; and in the U.S. it grew its share year over year to 4.6 percent, from 2.7 percent. The operating system’s lone low point? China, where it lost two percentage points, slipping to a share of 2.5 percent.

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Clearly, Windows Phone is gaining momentum – largely thanks to sales of Nokia’s Lumia handsets. Recall that in the Finnish company’s recently reported third quarter, it once again posted an increase in Lumia sales. Nokia shipped 8.8 million of them during the quarter – a nice bump up from the record 7.4 million it sold in the quarter prior, and a vast improvement over the 2.9 million it sold during the same period a year ago.

Despite this quarter’s impressive gains, Windows Phone remains far behind behind Android globally, and behind iOS in all markets save Italy. But it’s scrapping ahead. And the growth it’s showing in Europe and Latin America is encouraging, indeed – more so now that BlackBerry seems to have forfeited whatever distant chance it might have had to be a third-place hopeful in the smartphone market.

*Caveat: Sales of new iPhones typically slow as we head into fall and the expected launch of Apple’s next generation devices.

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