While Android and iOS devices are constantly fighting for the top end of the market, Windows Phone has slowly and steadily been working the low end of the market. That’s not to say that Android doens’t compete there too. There are countless cheap Android phones that flood the market, and more are being churned out by manufacturers each day.

The interesting thing to note is that since it’s fairly easy (and cheap) to have Android running on a phone, there are so many low-end Android devices with sub-par user experiences on the market, normally due to underpowered processors or the lack of RAM. So far Windows Phone hasn’t had to contend with that issue much, as most of the Windows Phones in the market are currently being churned out by Nokia. Even the lower end Nokia Lumia 525, which is priced around $199, has some respectable hardware, which should offer a reasonable user experience.

Could the strategy of releasing cheap and good low-end Windows Phones actually beat Android at its own game?

The Windows Phone may be quietly becoming a real competitor to Android

That’s not what ordinary shoppers thought. Numbers out this morning from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel show that more people than ever before are buying the phone, and not just in its traditional stronghold of Latin America. For the three months from August to October, the Windows phone’s share of smartphone sales doubled or more over the year prior in nearly every large European country, while also showing respectable gains in Australia and the United States. The only place its market share fell is in China, which is unsurprising given that China’s market is dominated by local players who tend to install their own versions of the free Android operating system.