Windows Phone fails to gain traction in second quarter
IDC is out with figures for worlwide smarphone sales in the second quarter, and it shows Windows Phone still stuck in idle, with only a 3.5 percent market share of the smartphone market, trailing not just Android and iOS, but Blackberry and Symbian as well. With the new iPhone just announced, the news might not get better for Microsoft.
The IDC report says that 5.4 million Windows Phone devices were sold in the quarter, for a 3.5 percent market share, up from 2.3 percent a year previously.
Android, meanwhile had 104.8 million units sold, for a 68.1 percent market share, up from 46.9 percent a year previous. There were 26 million iPhones sold, for a 16.9 percent, down from 18.8 percent a year previous. 7.4 million Blackberries were sold, for a 4.8 percent share, down from 11.5 percent a year earlier. And 6.8 million Symbian devices were sold, for a 4.4 percent market share, down from 16.9 percent a year previous.
Despite those poor market share figures, the signs look good for Windows Phone heading into the fall and winter. Several device makers, noticeably Samsung, have announced new, high-end Windows Phone devices based on Windows 8 Phone. Verizon will offer new Windows 8 Phones, and so will AT&T and T-Mobile. The carriers will likely push Windows Phone 8 devices heavily, as a way to fight back against Apple, which gets up to $600 in royalties from carriers for each iPhone user, and that's on top of getting hardware sales subsidized by carriers.
Still, at some point, the market share figures for Windows Phone have to move or the platform will fail. Success can't stay endlessly around the corner. With the upcoming Windows 8 launch, new line of Windows 8 Phones, carrier and manufacturer support, and likely big marketing push, this may well be the last chance for Windows Phone. If all that can't eat into Android and iOS market share, the platform likely will never succeed.
Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld, and the author of more than 40 books, including "How the Internet Works," "Windows XP Hacks," and "Windows Vista in a Nutshell" and "NOOK Tablet: The Missing Manual." You can follow him on Twitter or Google+.