Nokia's cheap smartphones drive Windows in Europe -research


FRANKFURT, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Microsoft's Windowsplatform has reached a 9.2 percent share in the smartphoneoperating system (OS) market in key European markets, driven byNokia's low and mid-range models, market researchfirm Kantar said on Monday.

During the three months to August, the Windows Phoneplatform reached a market share of over 10 percent for the firsttime in France and Britain, with 10.8 percent and 12 percentrespectively, the researcher said.

Nokia, which earlier this month agreed to sell its mobilephone handset business to Microsoft, is the main user of theWindows platform and the driver behind the increase.

"Windows Phone's latest wave of growth is being driven byNokia's expansion into the low and mid-range market with theLumia 520 and 620 handsets," said Kantar analyst DominicSunnebo.

"These models are hitting the sweet spot with 16 to 24year-olds and 35 to 49 year-olds, two key groups that look for abalance of price and functionality in their smartphone."

Google's Android, which runs on Samsung and Sony smartphones among others, remained the leadingplatform in key European markets, which include Britain,Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Android's market share increased to 70.1 percent from 68.8percent in the same period last year. Apple's iOS wasthe second-biggest platform with a 16.1-percent market share, 2percentage points more than last year.

BlackBerry, which earlier this month agreed to goprivate, saw its market share more than halved to 2.4 percentfrom 5.8 percent.

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