Windows Phone sales higher than iPhone in 27 countries

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It looks as though 2013 was a pretty big year for Windows Phone. Despite the fact that it’s still looked at as a major underdog in the mobile fight, devices running Microsoft’s mobile OS are actually outselling the iPhone in 27 different countries.

Where is Windows Phone hot? Central and South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia. It has shoved its way past the iPhone in Mexico and Columbia, Italy and Greece, and India and Pakistan. In Nokia’s home country, Windows Phone is beating the iPhone, too. Forbes has the full list of countries, and there are some common threads. For the most part, they’re nations where residents don’t have the disposable income to throw around on something as pricey as an iPhone. Yes, the overwhelming majority of the Windows Phones that lead to these gains are low end. Yes, nearly all of them are made by Nokia — around 93% according to analyst data. Any way you slice it, it’s clear that Windows Phone is picking up steam.

IDC figures that Windows Phone sales jumped 156% over the last year. While that means a relatively humble climb from 3.7 million units to just under six million, it’s still a significant gain. If Microsoft can convince OEMs like HTC to give Windows Phone a go on their Android handsets, next year’s increase could be even more dramatic.

Apple still rules in two very key markets — the U.S. and Japan — but even there Windows Phone is gaining ground. It’s also catching up in the EU. iOS share has been mostly flat or falling, but Windows Phone is up in almost every country. Despite losing ground in dozens of markets, Apple is probably not that upset. There’s so much delicious profit built into those shiny iPhones that a few measly points lost to Windows Phone in less affluent countries isn’t a cause for panic. It’s also not as if the iPhone is the only competitor Windows Phone is stealing share from. BlackBerry’s still hemorrhaging users and Microsoft seems to be scooping them up, too.

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