A new report claims Windows Phone sales are picking up in Europe, with Microsoft's mobile platform now accounting for nine per cent of all smartphone sales in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain.
According to a study by Kantar Worldpanel, Windows Phone has almost doubled its share of sales in the last year and is now within a percentage point of the iPhone in Germany.
The research also claims that Windows Phones accounts for 10.8 and 12 per cent of sales in France and Great Britain respectively, marking the first time the platform has had double digit sales in two major markets.
Android still leads the pack with a 70 percent market share that position may soon be challenged as growth slows compared to Windows and iOS.
“After years of increasing market share, Android has now reached a point where significant growth in developed markets is becoming harder to find,” said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo.
“Android’s growth has been spearheaded by Samsung, but the manufacturer is now seeing its share of sales across the major European economies dip year on year as a sustained comeback from Sony, Nokia and LG begins to broaden the competitive landscape.”
Both Google and Microsoft rely heavily on their manufacturers to drive sales and it's likely the latter's recent success is connected with that of Nokia.
“Windows Phone’s latest wave of growth is being driven by Nokia’s expansion into the low- and mid-range market with the Lumia 520 and 620 handsets,” said Sunnebo.
“These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24-year-olds and 35 to 49-year-olds, two key groups that look for a balance of price and functionality in their smartphone.”
Microsoft may still have its work cut out for it if it wants to compete outside of Europe though, as Apple commands a much greater share of sales in the US and Japan.
Apple sells 39 per cent of all smartphones in the US and that figure is only expected to rise with the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
In Japan iPhones are more popular than Android, and the market is nearly split down the middle with just over a one percent gap between the rivals.