nokia-lumia-900-handSince introducing its first Microsoft Windows Phones in 2011, Finnish manufacturer Nokia has already become the top Microsoft smartphone vendor in the world, according to Strategy Analytics.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 OS back in February 2011, but it took until near the end of the year to see what the company could come up with on the phone front. The company put out its decently selling Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones, and soon it will release the big and powerful Lumia 900, one of the most-talked-about products of CES 2012.

Things appear to be in Nokia’s favor with this latest report. Global smartphone shipments using Microsoft smartphone operating system grew 36 percent to reach 2.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, with Nokia as the largest manufacturer. In retrospect to the entire smartphone world, these numbers are downright tiny. The Apple iPhone alone sold an astounding 37 million units in the last reported quarter. But Windows Phone as an OS is trying to bring itself back from death right now, so any growth is a good thing.

“An expanded portfolio of Windows Phone 7 models such as the Lumia 800, an increased retail presence and highly visible marketing campaigns across several European and Asian countries drove Nokia’s growth,” Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “Nokia is by no means out of the woods yet, and it is still on a long road to recovery, but capturing top spot in the Microsoft smartphone ecosystem is an encouraging baby-step forward for the company.”

Do you think Nokia will end up giving Windows Phones the boost they need to compete with iOS and Android?

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