Windows Phone now the third place smartphone ecosystem as BlackBerry sinks further

It's no secret that Windows Phone hasn't exactly taken the market by storm since its launch in late 2010. Despite attractive products and widespread marketing campaigns, sales of smartphones with Microsoft's mobile OS have been struggling in the face of aggressive competition from its rivals. 

There have been some success stories. Nokia's Lumia 920 – its flagship until the recent launch of the thin-and-light Lumia 925 – has boosted the profile of the platform, and won many awards for innovation in the process, while sales of Windows Phones in some markets have seen the platform reach double-digit market share. More good news has emerged today with the latest global smartphone shipment figures from IDC, which reveal that Windows Phone shipments grew again last quarter, and exceeded those of its closest rival, BlackBerry. 

BlackBerry's market share fell to just 2.9% from 6.4% in the same quarter last year, representing a 35.1% decline. While BlackBerry shipments dropped to just 6.3 million units last quarter, global Windows Phone shipments increased to 7 million, giving the platform a 3.2% share of the market; this growth pushes Windows Phone into third place in worldwide smartphone shipments, a significant step in Microsoft's mobile strategy. 

As we've known for some time, Nokia is the largest OEM in the Windows Phone ecosystem, accounting for 79% of WP devices, and IDC's Kevin Restivo said that Windows Phone's success in "claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia." However, he also added that these figures must be kept in perspective: "Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alternative to Android or iOS."

Indeed, despite today's figures establishing Windows Phone as the third ecosystem in the smartphone space, it still languishes far behind its much larger Android and iOS rivals which, between them, control 92.3% of the smartphone market. Android's share of the market saw a phenomenal 79.5% increase year-on-year, leaping from 59.1% in Q1 2012 to 75.0% in the first quarter of this year. Samsung remains by far the largest Android vendor; its Android handsets currently represent 41.1% of all global smartphone shipments. 

While Apple's iPhone shipped in greater quantities in Q1 2013 compared with a year ago, its market share actually decreased from 23.0% to 17.3%, a symptom of the explosive growth in Android handset shipments. 

Total worldwide smartphone shipments across all operating systems increased almost 42% to 216.2 million devices, compared with 152.7 million a year ago. 

Source: IDC via The Verge

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34 Comments

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These comments are hilarious. The Windows fans seem to garner "phone energy" from one another on this forum. Third place is Microsofts plateau. The big boy has yet to release their new phone. Apple will release their new iPhone and it will sell more phones in one day that what Nokia has sold in the past 6 months. Delusional Windows users.

JHBrown said,
These comments are hilarious. The Windows fans seem to garner "phone energy" from one another on this forum. Third place is Microsofts plateau. The big boy has yet to release their new phone. Apple will release their new iPhone and it will sell more phones in one day that what Nokia has sold in the past 6 months. Delusional Windows users.

you want to talk about delusional? speak about yourself. apple is not releasing a new phone for another 2 quarters, and when they do, its an iphone 5 with updated guts, which we all know how the iphone 5 didn't exactly take the world by storm. Apple lost 5.7% worldwide share from 1 year ago,meaning they didn't grow enough with the market. We all know how the Lumias like the 520 have already done so well (took 4.4% of wp userbase in ONE MONTH,not included in IDC figures). Nokia also released the midrange 720,and they are releasing a few more killer phones. If you are not worried what is going to happen in 2 more quarters as an Iphone fan, I'd say you don't know whats coming. Last year WP was 1/12 of iphone sales, last quarter its down to 1/5, next quarter, most probably better than 1/3. See the trend? This is all Nokias doing. When other OEMs finally come begging for a piece of the action, its time to give Apple a long kiss goodnight.

I want Android to relinquish Apple to 10% that way Windows Phone can have 10% and Android have 80%. That way we have 2 even stevens that can compete on equal footing as they both work hard to see if they can bring Android down.

Not saying I want Android to fall because I don't. What I want to see if more real fighting. Why? Because this is what will happen. When a singl company holds a huge market, they slow down on innovation and invention. Its like many people in a relationship at first. When they are trying ot get you, theydo everything to win and after they win, they stop doing everything.

Windows Mobile was king. Microosft sat on their butts and WM dropped off the map.
RIM took all of Microsoft's business, started selling 100M handsets and then sat on their butts.
Apple has came and is making huge money and is sitting on their butts.
Google is kinda sitting on their butts too.

Samsung is the only OEM that does significant things to their phones to make them worth owning. Just having the same OS means nothing. You need to being sugar and spice and Samsung has done that and that is why they are the only Android OEM making serious cash.

Google stands to have 80%+ by the end of this year with Samsung having close to 50% to themselves. If Samsung gets another 8% of Android market, all you will see is Samsung phones for a while as it was with iPhones. I now see less iPhones and more Samsung phones since the GS3 was released. The Galaxy is Samsung's iPhone in that they too now have a single branded handset that is selling in numbers higher than iPhone is.

As long as Google keeps bringing nice capabilities to Android, and Samsung takes advantage and add their own, Android will be like Windows is on the desktop. Apple may always get the most money, but Apple will stand to die if a new kids on the blocks comes with a new flavor.

TechieXP said,
Samsung is the only OEM that does significant things to their phones to make them worth owning. Just having the same OS means nothing. You need to being sugar and spice and Samsung has done that and that is why they are the only Android OEM making serious cash.

I would add that Nokia is doing the same thing for Windows Phone.

Nokia is selling devices at the low end with very little profit per device. Not ideal for their financial position even if it does get you a higher percentage of users.

matt4pack said,
.....

In the US and emerging markets, yes.
However in established european markets their 800,900,920 are selling like hotcakes with double digit market shares in those countries. They will turn around.

deadonthefloor said,

In the US and emerging markets, yes.
However in established european markets their 800,900,920 are selling like hotcakes with double digit market shares in those countries. They will turn around.

Only in three states of Europe.

matt4pack said,
Nokia is selling devices at the low end with very little profit per device. Not ideal for their financial position even if it does get you a higher percentage of users.

You could say the same is for feature phones as well. The strategy, if I am not mistaken, is to seed WP based Lumias. Start with the low-end, people will then upgrade to high-end if they become used to the Lumia/WP combo.

This is just the beginning. MS can really do better provided they update the platform at a faster rate. We are playing catch up even in terms of features (forget the apps which is not completely in control of MS or Nokia)

That said, I don't regret switching to Lumia from S3.

Indeed, get these updates out quick, WP8 pretty much filled a lot of gaps but I don't want WP to be playing catch ups. We want it pioneering the mobile space like what its done with live tiles and the people hub etc.

cant wait for next quarter numbers. in a month after release, the lumia 520 took over 4.4% of the whole windows phone userbase,not quarterly sales. that's in one month(which by the way,doesnt show up on these numbers yet).

to put things into perspective,apple is expected to sell around 27 million iphones next quarter. if windows phone can manage 9-10 million phones, that will be huge.

windows phone just has to gun for iphone right now. what do you think the perception will be if it sells close to,or surpasses iphone sales? this will definitely change the perception and get massive developer support. after that, I think we know what happens (case in point,android). it just snowballs from there. more developer support,more users,faster and bigger growth. the hardest is getting into that double digit territory. I think even after double digits, I don't think it matters anymore to developers for example,because a double digit share is big enough to pay attention to.

vcfan said,

windows phone just has to gun for iphone right now. what do you think the perception will be if it sells close to,or surpasses iphone sales? this will definitely change the perception and get massive developer support. after that, I think we know what happens (case in point,android). it just snowballs from there. more developer support,more users,faster and bigger growth. the hardest is getting into that double digit territory. I think even after double digits, I don't think it matters anymore to developers for example,because a double digit share is big enough to pay attention to.

Agreed. That will be the tipping point for WP. Same happened with Android. All said and done, iPhone is the benchmark. If WP can get close to it, in terms of quarterly sales, before the end of 2013, then there will be no stopping WP.

I was also thinking what Microsoft can do to get more ODMs to make more Windows Phones - Do a reverse patent deal. For every WP they sell, they avoid patent fees for every other Android device. On top of this, offer the WP license at a special price of $0 for 12 months. I bet Samsung, HTC, LG et all will REALLY focus on WP.

Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alternative to Android or iOS.

Why does it need more sales to be an alternative? There are plenty of reasons why a consumer may want a Windows Phone just as there are many reasons why a consumer may want a Droid phone. I think its a bit of a stretch to claim that consumers put a large emphasis on how much market share their mobile OS has...

Anyhow, go WP! Looks like things are looking up for Nokia as well- they pretty much revolutionised the mobile phone but that doesn't mean they can't do it again!!

Soon it'll just be Unix vs Windows
Strangely, the inverse results to Desktop.

Why not just combine all Unix variants.
Android+iOS+Linux+ (Blackberry 10 not included yet)
93.3% vs 3.2% yay!

Sly_Ripper said,
Android is linux based.

But only when we talk about marketshare, certainly not when we are talking about malware, RAM leaks or poor performance

LOVED this phone, I was so "hip" at the time. LOL. I later upgraded to the MPX220 and people were always oooh that's so cool.

boumboqc said,
Owner since WP 7.0 !!
Mwuhahaha: PocketPC 2000 , since then, I've used every version of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Studio384 said,
Mwuhahaha: PocketPC 2000 , since then, I've used every version of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

But that was for PDA; the first PDA I ever used was had was Casio that in 1982 had already a touch screen, well sort of: you used your finger to draw the letters to enter, bloody cumbersome process... My first MS powered PDA was the HP Jornada 820.
Never used a Palm though.....