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Nokia Windows Phone outselling Symbian in U.K., report says

Unfortunately, both platforms are still seeing only a sliver of the total market share.

The Lumia line is starting to see some traction in Europe.
Josh Long/CNET

Nokia's Windows Phone is starting to make some headway in Europe.

Specifically, in the U.K., Nokia's Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has started to outsell Nokia's Symbian devices over the past few months, according to Bloomberg, which cited a study from research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Of the U.K. mobile phone purchasers interviewed in the last three months, 2.5 percent said they purchased a Lumia phone, while 2.4 percent bought devices using the company's older Symbian operating system, according to the Kantar report. The Lumia 800 accounted for 87 percent of Nokia's Windows Phone sales.

The results suggest Nokia is making some slight progress in its transition from Symbian to Windows Phone, and consumers are starting to take notice. The flip side, however, is that the percentages remain low, underscoring the continued difficulties the company faces when it comes to the high-end smartphone market.

Spot checks at three Carphone Warehouse stores in London conducted by CNET revealed that Nokia Windows Phone devices were selling well to subscribers opting for contracts. Specifically, the Lumia 800 was selling well, said sales reps. The Lumia 800 couldn't compete with the iPhone in sales, but did appear to be generating interest. "The Lumia 800 has a nice operating system and appears sturdy to consumers," said one rep, who indicated that the Nokia phone was competitive in interest to various Android devices.

Nokia ceded much of its smartphone position to rivals Apple and Android-using vendors such as Samsung. The company is attempting to reestablish its position through an aggressive adoption and push of its Windows Phone devices.

Nokia will need to move quickly to expand its Windows Phone presence, as the older Symbian platform hasn't fared much better. The operating system's market share fell to single digits from a 12.4 percent share a year earlier, while it has also hit single-digit share positions in Germany, France, and Australia.

In the U.S., Nokia sells its more affordable Lumia 710 through T-Mobile USA, and AT&T plans to sell the LTE-compatible Lumia 900 in the coming months.

Larry Dignan contributed to this report.