ComScore: Microsoft lost US smartphone market share in December 2012

ComScore's data for December 2012 smartphone market share in the United States has been released, and it shows that Microsoft's smartphone platform actually lost market share for the three month period ending December. Windows Phone, combined with Windows Mobile, dropped 0.7 percentage points to hold 2.9% of the market at the end of 2012, joined by BlackBerry which saw a more considerable market share drop of 2.0% for the period to end up with 6.4% market share.

Unsurprisingly the winners for December 2012 were both Android and iOS, which gained a further 0.9% and 2.0% of the US market respectively, ending with 53.4% and 36.3% market share. For smartphone OEMs, Apple still reigns king with (again) 36.3% of the market, however Samsung managed to claim the greatest rise in share, jumping 2.3% to hold 21.0% of the market. HTC and Motorola, which claim third and fourth spots respectively, both saw market share declines, while fifth place LG gained 0.5%.

While Windows Phone's worldwide market share continues to rise, it has been seemingly difficult for Microsoft to penetrate the United States market with any sort of force even with a wide range of devices available on carriers. It may take another generation of Windows Phone 8 devices to see tides change in favor of the platform, with new devices potentially going to be unveiled at MWC later this month.

Source: ComScore

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Sorry, where did the extra 0.2% come from that was gained by Apple/Google?

Point changes indicate 2.9% was gained by Google & Apple, while only 2.7% was lost from BB/Microsoft.

people keep saying there are no apps, no apps, but actually there are a ton of great apps. I think for such low marketshare, Windows Phone was able to get a lot of apps on their platform. Go look at the top 200 apps for android for example,most of those are of Windows phone, or there are similar alternatives.

We can't also forget that the Windows Phone 8 SDK came out only a few months ago. For software developers,you know you cant just turn up a complex piece of software overnight. It takes some time.

Gameloft for example is releasing a lot of their popular mobiles games like NOVA3,modern kombat 4,amazing spiderman,batman,asphalt,etc... real soon. EA games like madden,fifa,nba are also in the pipeline.

Yes,there are still a **** ton of apps missing ,but I think once you cover the essentials and the big name apps, then it becomes easier and easier.

We can't also forget that the new WP8 phones were only available about 1/3 of the time in that quarter.

And I think once more and more Windows 8 devices get out there, the WP8 OS will become so familiar that its easier to sell.

WP8 is also doing well outside of the U.S,therefore this is encouraging news.

We've gone beyond the point where you can keep saying there are big enough quantities of old Windows Mobile devices around for them to be responsible for changes in market share like that.

I stop believing in all what so called analysts. One says something, the other says different. Specially ComScore has been wrong with so many reports before too. WP market is going up or down isn't that matter to user like me much. However, the only thing I can notice that I used to be the only one using WP in my team. Now there are two other people also have WP as well.

I never see Windows Phones in the wild. Never. It makes sense that numbers are not high. I think that any Win Phone marketshare growth will be harder now that BB10 is out. Awareness for BB is very high and I think that a lot of people have been waiting for this BB10 release.

Well. Surely the world wide market is the main figure to look at. I mean that's the one that counts if you sell world wide. To a world wide product, local figures just become a logistic that lets you know in which countries you are selling, so that you can figure out witch cultures have a higher demand for your product. If there is a low demand in a particular country, It just means you need to adjust your marketing/product to appeal to the cultures that are not shifting units.

Example of this argument:
NEWS FLASH! Chop stick sails in the US are down. chop sticks are a fail!
Demand for Union Jacks in america is not high. Union jack flag manufacturers must be in trouble!
And so on and so forth. : \

Edited by Ad Man Gamer, Feb 7 2013, 6:37am :

I'm sorry, but MS is simply not taking the smartphone game seriously. I've been a WP user for 2 years and a half, I absolutely love WP. You know what I don't love? No instagram. IE not syncing favorites between my windows PC and my WP. My GPS taking forever to lock. Lack of app updates cos nobody gives a damn. Lack of apps for the same reason.

Today, as much as it pains me because I LOVE the metro aesthetic, I bought a Nexus 4 - best hardware available for ridiculously low price AND unlocked - for a frequent international traveler like me, that's HUGE. You know what Android, as much as I dislike it, does well? There's instagram. Chrome syncs favorites between my PC and my phone. GPS locks in a heartbeat. Constant app updates. Crazy variety of apps.

I've been defending WP for years now. I'm tired of it: MS doesn't give a crap about its phone users, that's what I've concluded. There's NO excuse for IE to not sync favorites, 3 years in the market with WP. There's NO excuse for the lack of an Instagram app (devs don't like WP? PAY THEM to develop an app). I think MS got greedy. Make money on the phones AND make money on the licenses. You can do that when you're king, but you cannot do that when you're nobody in the market. Had they done as Google, I think MS would have dominated smartphones instead of Google: offer the OS for free, you already make money on each app that's sold, you don't need to charge for the OS itself. MS got greedy and they screwed it up: they're dying.

I hate it. I hate seeing WP die a slow death. I'm sure if they had given WP for free and be content with making money on each purchased app, WP would be king among smartphones now. They got greedy and nobody wanted to pay for an OS when they had a free Google option. Now Google is king. After 2 years of crappy treatment with a platform that, as much as I love design wise, is poor/empty/lacks updates/lacks apps etc... I'm done. I'm looking forward to the Nexus 4 arriving to me soon.

It's a sad state of afairs... but Microsoft brought this onto themselves. I hate it, but I'm no idiot: I give my money to the most useful and deserving platform... not to those who believe they should reign just because they're important in a different market. Eff that.

Errr. How is instagram Microsoft's fault? I can see how you can pin IE not sinking to your phone on them, but I don't see how any of them points show that they got greedy in the phone market. I think a better word you may be looking for is complacent.

It is good that you are being so honest.

I dont see how MS even deserve to win this phone race.

- MS ditched Windows Mobile, killed it off. Goodbye loyal followers!
- They designed a new interface so that it was not like any other, not because they had a good idea but because it was not like Android and not like iOS.
- Now they put the same design into Windows and people are not liking that
- People are not liking the Windows Phones or they would be selling better, its not working.

Windows Metro (or whatever the tiled interface is called now) does not look like a recipe for success, it looks like shove it down peoples throats and hope for the best.

@Xabier Granja,

I know some people need to be told this on a regular basis, but US market is not the whole world. Windows Phone is not dying if the market share is growing worldwide. Market share is up significantly in places like UK and Italy for example.

The problem in the US has nothing to do with the crap you mentioned. GPS locking? IE favorites syncing? Get real. The reason why WP market share is not growing in the US like the rest of the world is because the Nokia brand is considered absolute garbage in the US. People in the US think Motorola is a bigger name than Nokia. Last time people remember seeing Nokia in the US they had some stupid side talking taco video game phone. If they don't remember the Ngage then they only remember some crappy brick phones from the 90's and the horrendous ear grating ringtone.

Most of the suggestions you made regarding apps are already happening. Not only has MS paid a ton of developers for apps, but Microsoft also volunteers to make the apps for some. That is happening in the case of Instagram. The problem is that no platform has ever succeeded by paying developers to make apps for it.

Microsoft faces a huge problem in the US. Their main hardware partner burned most of it's bridges with US carriers ages ago and pulled out of the market (rightfully so I might add). In the US the wireless carriers completely control the phone industry, they dictate every detail of the phone from design to software updates to pricing and they demand exclusives from any company they can bully. Vizio, a hugely successful American company can't even release a phone in America. Vizio designed and developed a phone for the US market and the carriers refused to sell it, so now Vizio has to sell the phone in places like China.

Imagine if the PC you could buy in the 90's was dictated by ISPs like AOL and it had to be exclusive to either AOL, CompuServe, or Prodigy and that PC could never be used with any other ISP. That's the world we're living in right now with phones in America.

My contract on Verizon for my Droid 2 just ended and I was just about to jump in on a Windows Phone but I couldn't do it, there was just way more available in the Android ecosystem. The nail in the coffin was when the Nexus 4 came available last week, I ordered one and received it two days later. Sweet phone, and Jelly Bean on a phone is awesome, I had already had a Nexus 7 but its way better in a phone factor.

Ad Man Gamer said,
Errr. How is instagram Microsoft's fault? I can see how you can pin IE not sinking to your phone on them, but I don't see how any of them points show that they got greedy in the phone market. I think a better word you may be looking for is complacent.

Yes and no. Is MS complacent? Absolutely, they seem to keep thinking they're doing "enough" when in reality they're far, far away from the competing platforms. We should be getting updates every 3 months long ago, filling the holes of what's missing in comparison to other systems. At least to achieve feature-parity. I've patiently waited for them to step up their game for 2 years now, always citing how "young" the platform is. WP is no longer that young, it's been with us for nearly 3 years. We should be much more advanced at this point. 3 years in, still no VPN support for example, are you kidding me???

I think greed still applies here. Google shot to the top for releasing a FREE platform. They were content with "just" making money on each app sold. MS wanted that AND a licensing fee per copy of the OS/phone sold. That's greed. There was no need for that, it's this decision what buried them - in combination with other factors of course - when the competition was offering good enough at a price of zero.

Instagram is at least 50% MS's fault. For far too long we have kept making excuses for MS. Surely they cannot make all the apps in the world, they need to attract devs. If devs aren't coming, that's MS's fault, they're not doing their job right. Specially, when you know there's XYZ apps that are mega famous and used by so many people that make it popular, either a) PAY the devs to create the app for your platform or b) do it yourself. MS has proven to think itself too good to even bother with these options, taking an "Oh, Instagram devs will come eventually, you'll see" arrogant approach. Well, 2 years later, they're still not coming. Why would I pay a platform that keeps doing barely enough when the competition is doing great things with their OS.

Avatar Roku said,
Get real.

Seriously? I think my arguments were pretty "real". Real usage of an OS and its devices, real problems that affect my everyday use. IE syncinc is a HUGE detail that is so easy to implement yet MS doesn't seem to care. When you're 2% of the global market and you want to be more, you just can't ignore any little thing, specially when your competitors are doing them perfectly fine. A platform's success is always in the DETAILS, in the seemingly smaller things that will make or break the platform for the majority of potential users.

Yes, Nokia's image in the US is garbage. It's not in Europe by a long shot, and other than Finland - their home country - WP marketshare itself is garbage around the 2 to 5%. 3 YEARS IN!!!! Do you realize there's a bunch of mobile platforms coming later this year and early next? Do you realize Samsung has the best carrier relations - the single most important factor to succeed in the mobile industry - and they're bringing to market their own OS Tizen, as a sequel/improvement to the already ultra-popular bada? When Tizen gets here, it's bye-bye to MS, to BB, to Firefox and all others who show up. It'll be iOS, Android and Tizen. And what's worse, I guarantee you Tizen will have more features at birth than WP does right now. That's inexcusable! Unless you like giving money to MS for no reason in exchange of a worse phone experience, that is.

Avatar Roku said,
Most of the suggestions you made regarding apps are already happening.

Why yes, that's what I hear! But where are the services for me to use? I've been hearing "this is coming soon" for 2 YEARS AND A HALF! If that's anywhere around acceptable for you, you're a much more patient person than I am. 2 years' delay is unacceptable in my book. Specially not when competitors are so far ahead in features by now, it's not even funny. And as you say, no platform succeeds by paying devs. Why do they need to pay devs? Because the OS doesn't have many of the APIs and functions that devs want. That's arrogance. Give devs what they want, they'll code for your platform. I'm sure this is coming, WP7 was a beta test, WP8 is when they did the actual robust platform and now things will start happening. I'm just not willing to put up with a THIRD year of waiting for things to happen. I hope to be back in WP, maybe by the time WP9 comes out, if it survives. If they get their act together, cool, I'd love to be back. Meanwhile, I'm exasperated of supporting them and getting barely anything in return for my confidence in them. As you can see, my confidence has run out. Now they can prove their worth themselves and if they do, try to win me as a customer. These are not people, they're COMPANIES. We shouldn't have to be defending them, they have no feelings. They should do job that's good enough to attract consumers.

As you said, the US is stupidly dominated by carriers. Who is the only one trying to disrupt this mechanic and alter the industry? Google with its Nexus line. Crazy good hardware at minimal price, sold unlocked. Beat that, anybody else. Microsoft should have always released their own phone, Nexus style. That would at least have allowed them to say, cool, you don't like your experience locked to this or that carrier, why not try our Surface phone? You get all updates and all the freedom you'd like... plus this carrier-freedom allows us to develop the platform at a faster pace! But no, that's not happening either. Thus I'm giving my money to Google. At least they're trying to fix the situation, and give me insane value in the proess.

Again, the point is, I absolutely LOVE WP and want to be back, but I'll only be back when and if they get up to speed and become bleeding edge competitive (in this growing market, you can't afford to be anything less). The point is, I'm tired of waiting. I waited for over 2 years. It's time to move on to a system that's going to offer me all that I've been wanting and longing for so long.

Apparently Tim doesn't realize there is a difference between "Windows Phone" and "Windows Mobile"

Microsoft has lost marketshare, NOT "Windows Phone" - there is STILL a population of Windows Mobile that is falling off of old school and corporate accounts, that are being automatically rolled into Android and iOS.

While I bet Windows Mobile makes up a small percentage of Microsoft's OS figures, I'll update the article as that is true.

However I find it hard to believe that in September, 20% of Microsoft's smartphone OS market share was Windows Mobile

thenetavenger said,
Apparently Tim doesn't realize there is a difference between "Windows Phone" and "Windows Mobile"

Microsoft has lost marketshare, NOT "Windows Phone" - there is STILL a population of Windows Mobile that is falling off of old school and corporate accounts, that are being automatically rolled into Android and iOS.

Even if this was the case, and personally I do not think it is, no matter how we turn the statistics MS not only is unable to gain customers at the expense of the competition but it is even unable to retain its own customers which is even more alarming.

Fritzly said,

Even if this was the case, and personally I do not think it is, no matter how we turn the statistics MS not only is unable to gain customers at the expense of the competition but it is even unable to retain its own customers which is even more alarming.

How about no-one cares? This is only one country we are talking about. Nothing more.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

How about no-one cares? This is only one country we are talking about. Nothing more.

As a MS shareholder I do; MS should as well....

Fritzly said,

As a MS shareholder I do; MS should as well....

If you really are an "shareholder" as you say then you should be worried about bigger markets than the US.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

If you really are an "shareholder" as you say then you should be worried about bigger markets than the US.

First and foremost switch to chamomile tea.....
For your information WP8 was first launched in the US which means that the US market is considered by MS and partners strategic one. If you disagree apply to become MS CEO...

I think you should be selling your stocks with this attitude.

US market is a tiny bit compared to other markets in the world, example EU, China (which Nokia is blooming in right now with WP) and if you can't accept this fact then you have no business with those stocks.

Just because MS thinks US is the foremost and most important market doesn't mean it is like that, we've seen that attitude before, remember Zune HD? US launch only, how did that work out?

They even haven't launched the new Lumia lines in the Baltics because MS isn't accepting us yet but the funny thing is people are going over the borders to get them.

You may know what MS is up to but I'm well aware of how Nokia is doing thanks to WP and that's all I need to know. People like you are the reason why I would have lost a lot of money on stocks.

Edited by alwaysonacoffebreak, Feb 7 2013, 6:00am :

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
I think you should be selling your stocks with this attitude.

Agreed. I for one am getting a little tired of hearing about Fritzly's stock portfolio everytime he trolls a topic. Me thinks he just says that to make him sound like something other than a troll...

I owned Microsoft stock for years (and would own it again), but when I did own it, just as with every other stock I've owned, I cared only about the company's success as a whole. This is particularly important with a tech company. If Fritzly does actually own stock at all, he should read up on what moves stock. Hint, one market doesn't...

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. I for one am getting a little tired of hearing about Fritzly's stock portfolio everytime he trolls a topic. Me thinks he just says that to make him sound like something other than a troll...

I owned Microsoft stock for years (and would own it again), but when I did own it, just as with every other stock I've owned, I cared only about the company's success as a whole. This is particularly important with a tech company. If Fritzly does actually own stock at all, he should read up on what moves stock. Hint, one market doesn't...

Trying to label people as troll because you are short of better arguments just shows your "limitations".
As for reading about what moves stocks.... Be reassured that I read enough to enjoy an average 24% yearly profit on my portfolio.


If WM was 20% of Microsoft's Market then if they had 3.6% of the whole market that was comprised of 0.72% WM and 2.88% WP.... which is somewhat significant.

trip21 said,
Yet here we show WP overtaking BB http://www.wpcentral.com/windo...-q4-2012-expense-blackberry who is to be beleived?

Who knows? All I know is this, Nokia sold more phones in Q4. More people are seeing them around. And more US carriers are selling them to. We know sprint will get phones later this year, we know Verizon is going to get a newer top end device (922?) as well.

If these things didn't sell in the US and so on you could bet fewer carriers would bother with them but that's not the case.

Something is seriously wrong with your industry when 3 out of the top 5 manufacturers in the market are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a quarter. Motorola and HTC are practically on their death bed. The only two companies on that list that have done well are Apple and Samsung.

Something is seriously wrong in the US market. Palm died, BlackBerry is on it's death bed, HTC is dying, Motorola is losing Google $500M a quarter and would be dead already without Google, Nokia LG and Sony are touch and go. HP and Dell have abandoned the phone industry completely. Huawei and ZTE are basically banned from the US because of China spying. Seriously one of the most ridiculous markets, I'm baffled as to why so many of these companies continue to make phones when the only guys getting rich are the wireless carriers.

Avatar Roku said,
Something is seriously wrong with your industry when 3 out of the top 5 manufacturers in the market are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a quarter. Motorola and HTC are practically on their death bed. The only two companies on that list that have done well are Apple and Samsung.

Something is seriously wrong in the US market.


It is called carrier locked contract phones.