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Windows Phone Market Share Drops to 1.6 Percent Worldwide

While the overall smartphone market saw gains in the second quarter of 2011, Microsoft's mobile offering declined in market share.

That's been the sense of a number of market snapshots over the last few months, and the theme was repeated Thursday when Gartner released its figures for the second quarter of 2011.

Smartphone sales worldwide rose 74 percent over the year-ago quarter to 429 million units, compared to 368 million in Q2 2010.

On the other hand, Microsoft's platforms went from 3 million units in the year-ago quarter to 1.7 million units this time. In fact, Microsoft fell behind Bada, Samsung's proprietary smartphone OS, which moved 2 million units in the quarter. Samsung launched Bada in June 2010.

The year-over-year figures for Microsoft compare the mature but lame-duck Windows Mobile platform of Q2 2010 against Windows Phone 7, which launched in Q4 2010.

While the smartphone market is way ahead of the year-ago quarter, growth is relatively flat sequentially. Gartner's estimate for global smartphone sales in Q1 was 101 million units and in Q2 was 108 million units.

That sequential flatness probably extends to Windows Phone 7. Gartner broke out Windows Phone 7 sales from Windows Mobile sales in Q1, estimating them at 1.6 million units. The Q2 number of 1.7 million units is presumably nearly all Windows Phone 7.

Google and Apple were on a tear in Q2, with 47 million Android-based smartphones and 20 million iPhones sold during the quarter, according to Gartner. "The combined share of iOS and Android in the smartphone operating system (OS) market doubled to nearly 62 percent in the second quarter of 2011, up from just over 31 percent in the corresponding period of 2010," according to Gartner's news release about the results.

Nokia, the partner whose devices Microsoft executives hope Windows Phone 7 will ride to huge market share gains, bled more share in the quarter. Nokia's Symbian platform went from 41 percent share in Q2 2010 to 22.1 percent share in Q2 2011. The market share loss included a drop in the number of units, as well, from over 25 million to under 24 million.

"The sales efforts of the channel, combined with Nokia's greater concentration in retail and distributors' sales, saw Nokia destock more than 9 million units overall and 5 million smartphones, helping it hold onto its position as the leading smartphone manufacturer by volume," said Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza in a statement. "However, we will not see a repeat of this performance in the third quarter of 2011, as Nokia's channel is pretty lean."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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