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So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

Well, one in ten of you shunned Landfill Android, anyway

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Nokia's cheap Lumia handsets helped Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system to a nearly nine per cent share of the UK market - but for all the Finns' efforts, the Lumia is still a rounding error in the United States.

The data comes from a Kantar Worldpanel poll of buyers globally in the second calendar quarter of 2013; the survey pegged Windows Phone with an 8.6 per cent of the market in the UK, and nine per cent in France. Android accounts for 56.2 per cent of the UK market and 69.2 per cent across the five biggest European markets.

However Apple recovered ground in the UK, and Kantar attributes the rise to first-time smartphone purchasers opting for the three-year-old iPhone 4. One third of iPhone buyers had never owned a smartphone before.

Windows Phone's gains came at the expense of BlackBerry, which fell from 10.6 per cent a year ago to 4.1 per cent in June. However Windows Phone's share of the US market remains in the doldrums, at 4 per cent, up 1.1 per cent from a year ago.

Nokia pits two budget phones against cheapo Landfill Android™ devices: the Lumia 520 and 620 priced around £99 and £149 respectively and are SIM free. Last week it announced a 4G phone that's expected to cost just over £200. The 520 - reviewed here - now accounts for almost 20 per cent of new application installations on the WinPho platform, according to monitoring outfit AdDuplex.

Fallen Finnish giant Nokia is doing most of the running with Windows Phone, selling 7.4 million Lumias in the second quarter of 2013, or 85 per cent of all Windows Phone devices sales. BlackBerry's new QNX-powered mobile OS only managed shipments into the tech distribution channel - the true sales picture (counting devices actually sold into punters' palms) has yet to emerge.

With a third of UK punters yet to own their first smartphone, and BlackBerry unable to compete on price with the new BlackBerry OS 10 as it did with the old BBOS, there's plenty to play for. It's a different story in the US, where smartphone devices as a proportion of new contracts reached 70 per cent in 2011 - and when contracts expire, people generally come back for more of the same.

But Microsoft continues to take its own sweet time promoting its handset operating system. The Redmond beast is still reeling from the chaos of the Sinofsky era, which led to Microsoft's biggest ever structural reorganisation. Informed rumour suggests there won't be a splashy Windows Phone 8.1 launch in 2013, merely another "service pack", or GDR (General Distribution Release). ®

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