Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone is now the second most popular mobile OS in Latin America.
While Microsoft’s proprietary OS is struggling to make a dent in the iOS and Android dominated markets of Europe and North America it seems that the company has been experiencing success in South and Central America. The success of the Windows Phone OS in finding a receptive audience may owe a lot to Nokia; lower priced Lumia handsets like the 520 are affordable and good quality devices which have resonated well in emerging markets.
The runaway popularity of Nokia’s budget handset has given Microsoft an important foothold in a market which, if economists are to believed is set experience rapid growth over the next few decades. By establishing Windows Phone as the OS of choice Microsoft are getting in early in a market where salaries – and disposable incomes – are set to grow.
Microsoft have been quick to recognise the importance of the relationship with Nokia in the success of their platform, and even crediting the Lumia 520 in particular, saying “In Latin America, there are more than 20 countries where the Windows Phone range of devices is available, from low-end smartphones, such as the Nokia Lumia 520, to those with the most advanced features available on the market, such as the Nokia Lumia 920, but all of which offer the same experience, thanks to the Microsoft platform.”
These latest figures must be welcome news for Microsoft, after their struggles in other emerging markets earlier this year. In particular, the Windows Phone platform’s market share saw a drop to just 3.6% in the vast Chinese market in March of this year, down from 4.3% last December.
So while Asia remains a tough nut for Microsoft to crack, South & Central America might prove to be their unexpected stronghold.