Windows Phone to overtake RIM in Europe this year

Research in Motion’s share of the European smartphone operating system market fell by almost 50% in the last year, according to market research Kanter Worldpanel ComTech.

BlackBerrys accounted for 6.4% of European smartphone sales in the week ending September 2, Kantar found, down from 12.2% a year ago.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows Phone grew from 3.8% in 2011 in Europe to 5.0% in 2012, a year-on-year increase of 1.2 percentage points.

“Windows is making steady progress in the big European economies and is now challenging BlackBerry for third spot in the European OS league,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kanter Worldpanel ComTech.

“With the momentum Windows 8 will bring towards the end of 2012, it seems highly likely that it will achieve this before the end of the year.” he said.

Microsoft hopes to increase its market share with the release of its a new smartphone operating system, Windows 8, which is due to be released in October and will run on Nokia’s new Lumia 920 and 800 handsets. However, Kantar says that it is low-end devices such as the Nokia 610 that have been driving sales in key European markets, such as France and Italy.

“Lower end devices are driving sales of [Windows Phone] as consumers seek value, resulting in growth rates of 6.6% in Italy, 3.5% in France and 2.3% in Great Britain," said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kanter Worldpanel ComTech.

In the UK, Windows Phone grew 2.3% to 4.4% market share year-over-year in September, while RIM’s share more than havled to 10.6%.

Google’s Android operating system extended its lead of the European smartphone market this year. Android’s share was 62.5% in early September, up 12.6 percentage points from last year. iOS grew from 18.5% of the market in 2011 to 21.3% this year.

According to Kantar Woldpanel, 57.6% of people in Great Britain now own smartphones, which have taken 80.4% of all sales in the latest 12 weeks. In the US,

In June, IDC predicted that the number of devices shipped with Windows Phone will grow by 46% each year until 2016, when it will hold 19.2% of the smartphone market – slighly over taking iOS.

Last week, Research In Motion reported a 31% decline in revenues and a 170% drop in net income for its most recent financial quarter from a $329 million profit a year ago.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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