China and USA are the two largest mobile markets. You make it in these countries, you can make it anywhere. And unsurprisingly, these are the two markets that Windows Phone is finding it hard to gain the necessary traction in.

On the flipside, however, Microsoft’s mobile platform is doing pretty dandy around the globe — Europe, in particular, where it has posted some downright amazing numbers.

Kantar World Panel has just released its newest report on the mobile market, and buoyed by the sales of affordable handsets like the Nokia Lumia 520, Windows Phone has significantly increased its market share in the Old Continent.

The report states that for the three months that ended on August 2013, Windows Phone market share went up to an average of 9.2 percent in five key European countries.

In France and the UK, actually, the platform rose to the highs of 10.8 percent and 12 percent — making it the first time Microsoft’s mobile OS has registered double digit percentage in two major markets.

According to Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech:

“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.  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.”

So there you have it — low and midrange is the key segment here. And when you consider that a fair portion of these users transition to premium handsets later down the road, it’s an absolute win.

However, it is not all good news for Windows Phone.

In the United States, for example, the three month share of the platform went up from 2.6 percent a year ago to 3 percent, an increase of just 0.4 percent points. China brought even more unsettling news, where the platform actually dropped.

Only 2.1 percent used a Windows Phone handset in the country during this three month period, a substantial dip from the 4.7 percent that used a Windows powered device a year ago.

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  1. It’s not surprise that Windows Phone is doing poorly in the two markets that respond much more to media hype than any others. Both of these markets are usually behind as well. Everything hits Europe and the rest of Asia first before it hits the U.S. and China.

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