Almost one in every ten smartphones in the main European markets now use the Windows phone operating system.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel statistics for the three months to the end of July show that during that period, Windows Phone share of the market in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Britain almost doubled, albeit from a low base, to a record level of 8.2%.

The Android operating system, however, maintained its dominance across the main European markets during the period.

Use of Android smartphones in the five key European markets now stands at 69.1%, up 2.9% on the previous quarter.

Use of Apple's iOS also grew in those European markets during the same period, from 14.8% to 17.9%.

Blackberry and Symbian were the big losers, with their share falling 4.3% and 3.1% respectively in the five European countries surveyed. Blackberry now has just 2.4% of the market in these states.

In the US, iOS continued to grow its share, increasing by 7.8% to 43.4% during the quarter. Android's dominance is waning in the US market, falling by 7.6% during the period to 51.1%. In China, Android powered ahead at the expense of iOS, Symbian and Windows, and now holds 70.5% of the market.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: "Android and Apple take the lion's share of the headlines and continue to dominate smartphone sales, so it's easy to forget that there is a third operating system emerging as a real adversary, commented Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

He said that Windows Phone, driven largely by lower priced Nokia smartphones such as the Lumia 520, now represents around one in 10 smartphone sales in Britain, France, Germany and Mexico.

For the first time the platform has claimed the number two spot in a major world market, taking 11.6% of sales in Mexico,' he added.