Market Share for Windows Phone Drops 0.1 Percentage Point

While Microsoft's Windows Phone continues to shed market share points, the amount of loss has shrunk -- the smartphone OS dropped only 0.1 percentage point in the third quarter, according to Gartner's latest market share figures.

Just over 1.7 million Windows Phone-based smartphones shipped worldwide in the third quarter of 2011, the research firm revealed on Tuesday. That number represents a 22.8 percent drop from the year-ago quarter, when 2.2 million Windows Phone-based smartphones shipped.

Windows Phone closed Q3 2011 with 1.5 percent market share, down from 2.7 percent in Q3 2010.

However, Windows Phone's market share has stayed relatively flat from quarter to quarter. According to an August announcement by Gartner, Windows Phone's market share in Q2 2011 was only incrementally higher, at 1.6 percent, suggesting the platform's rate of decline may be slowing. (The decline between Q1 2011 and Q2, for instance, was 2.0 percentage points.)

Recent mobile market share numbers from comScore also seem to suggest that while Windows Phone continues to lose market share, it's doing so at a trickle. In an October report, the analytics firm compared Windows Phone's average U.S. market share over the three months ending in May to the three months ending in August and found that it dropped by only 0.1 percentage point.

As RCP Editor in Chief Scott Bekker wrote in a blog post at the time, the numbers indicate that "Microsoft's rate of market share loss is moving in the right direction."

"Previous comScore reports had Microsoft dropping 1.7 points of share in June and 1.0 points in July, so the 0.1 point loss is downright stable," he noted.

In another report released earlier this month, comScore found a similarly marginal decline of 0.2 percentage point when comparing Windows Phone's average U.S. market share over three three months ending in June to the three months ending in September.

By comparison, in each comScore report, Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS recorded a higher subscriber base than Windows Phone but sustained market share losses of 5.0 and 4.6 percentage points.

The Top 5
Despite an apparent slowdown in its decline, Windows Phone still placed sixth in the Gartner report released Tuesday. Once again leading the smartphone OS race is Google's open source Android platform, which according to Gartner shipped on 60.5 million units worldwide in Q3 2011 -- nearly triple the Android units shipped in the year-ago quarter. Android closed the quarter with 52.5 percent market share, up from 25.3 percent in Q3 2010.

"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

Trailing Android are the Symbian (16.9 percent market share) and Apple's iOS (15.0 percent). Both OSes recorded declines from their respective year-ago market shares of 36.3 percent and 16.6 percent. However, Gartner projects that iOS will have a strong Q4 due to robust iPhone 4S presales and growing adoption in emerging economies, particularly in the wake of price cuts for older iPhone versions.

Rounding out the top five smartphone OSes are BlackBerry OS (11.0 percent market share) and the Samsung Bada (2.2 percent).


About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for, and


  • How To Configure Windows 10 for Intel Optane Memory

    Intel's Optane memory technology can significantly improve the performance of your Windows 10 system -- provided you enable it correctly. A single mistake can render the system unbootable. Here's how to do it the right way.

  • Microsoft and SAP Enhance Partnership with Teams Integration

    Microsoft and SAP this week described continuing partnership efforts on Microsoft Azure, while also planning a Microsoft Teams integration with SAP's enterprise resource planning product and other solutions.

  • Blue Squares Graphic

    Microsoft Previews Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows

    Microsoft announced a preview of Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows, which lets organizations tap Linux virtual machine processes that also work with Windows- and Azure-based processes and services.

  • How To Automate Tasks in Azure SQL Database

    Knowing how to automate tasks in the cloud will make you a more productive DBA. Here are the key concepts to understand about cloud scripting and a rundown of the best tools for automating code in Azure.

comments powered by Disqus