Windows Phone Outsells Symbian in U.K. Handsets, Study Says

Nokia Oyj’s new smartphone platform, Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 7, outsold its older smartphone system in the U.K. this year, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said.

About 2.5 percent of U.K. phone buyers chose a Windows Phone compared with 2.4 percent for Espoo, Finland-based Nokia’s older Symbian line, according to an e-mailed research report based on interviews with mobile phone purchasers over three months ending February 19. Nokia’s Lumia 800 accounted for 87 percent of Windows Phone 7 sales in Europe, the Madrid-based researcher said.

Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop shifted the company to Windows Phone last year, saying the long-term potential to create a “third ecosystem” would outweigh the short-term loss in Symbian sales. Google Inc.’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iPhone remained the top selling smartphone systems in the U.K., according to the study.

“The fact that Windows Phone sales have overtaken Symbian based on one handset is encouraging,” said Dominic Sunnebo, a London-based Kantar analyst. “However, Nokia will need to expand the range quickly in order to keep up with the slew of next generation competitor products being launched in quarter two.”

Symbian declined from a 12.4 percent share in the U.K. a year earlier and also fell to a single digit share in Germany, France and Australia, Kantar said.