Windows Phone is número uno in Latin America

A Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, the most popular smart phone in Latin America.

In the U.S. smart phone market, the Windows Phone seems firmly stuck in third place, far behind the likes of Android and Apple. But it's a different story in Latin America. New data show, for the second straight quarter, sales of phone with the Microsoft system surpassed Apple's iPhone and trailed only Android-based phones. In Chile alone, Windows Phone is up 50 percent over last quarter.

As Latin America's middle class has grown, so has demand for internet access and smart phones. Through its partnership through Nokia, Microsoft has been been able to capitalize on the Latin American market, says Univision's Stephen Keppel.

Nokia's Windows Phones are among "the more affordable smart phones on the market, and Latin Americans are just buying them right up," Keppel says. "A lot of economists for a while have been really looking at what's the sort of magic price for smart phones in the developing world. And for a while, they've kind of said it's around $100. The Nokia Lumia 520 is priced right around $100, sometimes even a little bit less, down to around $70."

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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