Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has had a long series of bad quarters, losing significant share in front of rivals such as Android, iOS and BlackBerry, yet it seems that it might soon be back in the game.In fact, the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech suggests that the mobile operating system has already started to return to growth, and that it might soon become the third operating system on the European smartphone market.
At the moment, Windows Phone is trailing all of the aforementioned platforms, but chances are that it would leave RIM’s BlackBerry OS behind soon.
“Windows is making steady progress in the big European economies and is now challenging BlackBerry for third spot in the European OS league,” Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented.
“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.”
Windows Phone’s growth might actually extend beyond the European space, as Microsoft and its hardware partners have been struggling to push devices to all corners of the world.
Moreover, they also focused on making them available at different price points, so that more users would be able to purchase and enjoy them.
Apparently, the tactics paid off, and lower end smartphones actually helped the platform close in on RIM’s BlackBerry OS, currently occupying the third place on the smartphone OS market in Europe.
“Lower end devices are driving sales of the platform as consumers seek value, resulting in growth rates of 6.6% in Italy, 3.5% in France and 2.3% in Great Britain. In Italy, Windows now holds a double-digit market share, 10.4%, a first in the European market,” Dominic Sunnebo said.
At the end of this month, Microsoft is expected to officially detail the upcoming Windows Phone 8 platform, with new devices set to hit shelves in early November.
Provided that it would enjoy strong holiday sales of new devices, Windows Phone might indeed become the third OS in Europe, especially since RIM’s new handsets, powered by the new BlackBerry 10 OS, are slated for release only in the first quarter of the next year.