IDC:Windows Phone makes strong gains in Europe, grew 156% YoY

  Q1 2011 Q1 2012 Q1 2012
Android   15.5 million 55%
iPhone 21% 7 million 25%
Symbian   1.4 million 5%
RIM 17% 2.5 million 9%
Windows Phone 2.2% 1.14 million 4.1%
Other   0.66 million 2.4%
Total   28.2 million  

IDC Europe has released some figures for Q1 2012 for their region, which reveals that, despite previous ideas that the OS is struggling there, it is in fact growing strongly.

Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European mobile devices at IDC, said that Windows Phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012 were up 156 percent, year-on-year. In total, Windows Phone market share grew to 4.1 percent (1.14 million units), up from 2.2 percent, according to figures from IDC’s first-quarter 2012 mobile phone shipment and market share report, released on Friday.

The volumes are not yet enough however to rescue Nokia.

"The Nokia Lumia range has performed interestingly but it still below expectations," Jeronimo said. "Nokia’s new Windows phones to be launched this year will continue to contribute to steady growth for the OS."

He added that Windows Phone would continue to make gains throughout 2012 and that "the new Windows Phone 8 handsets to be launched by manufacturers are drawing attention from operators in Europe".

iOS and Android continued to grow, with Android growing most remarkable.

iOS went up from 21 to 25%, a slowing of growth which should really worry Cupertino.

Google has no such worries, growing a massive 124% in shipments to 55% of the market and 15.5 million units.

Blackberry and Symbian both slipped.

"BlackBerry OS is losing its shine with consumers. Shipments were down 27 percent year-on-year to 2.5m units and market share fell 9 percent in [the first quarter of 2012] from 17 percent in the first quarter 2011," Jeronimo said. "Symbian represented less than 5 percent of total smartphone shipments in Western Europe. The operating system lacks operator support and the latest version of the OS, the Symbian Belle, has failed to attract consumers in the region."

Symbian device sales were down a total of 70 percent during the period. Jeronimo added that he expects "the last Symbian devices to be shipped by the end of the first quarter 2013".

"Google’s operating system has been able to compete with Apple’s iOS in the high-end price-tier segment, but more importantly it dominates the lower-end price tiers where Symbian and BlackBerry were traditionally strong," Jeronimo said.

It appears Android has become the new Symbian, which is relatively good news for Windows Phone, given how most Android users tend to want to move to another operating system once their had their fill of the poor user experience on that platform.

With a market share of 4.1% in Q1 2012 it would not take too much more to move the needle to 10%, especially with the rapid demise of Blackberry and Symbian.  Here’s looking forward to Q4 2012.

Via ZDNet UK and