Microsoft's global smartphone share continues to tumble, according to new data from Gartner.
Microsoft's share of the global smartphone market continues
to decline, according to an Aug. 11 report from Gartner.
The research firm pegs Microsoft's share at 1.6 percent for
the second quarter of 2011, down from 4.9 percent a year ago. It trails Google
Android with 43.4 percent, Nokia's Symbian with 22.1 percent, Apple iOS with
18.2 percent, Research in Motions's
BlackBerry franchise with 11.7 percent, and Bada-a mobile OS developed by
Samsung-with 1.9 percent.
RIM and Symbian also faced significant declines over the
past year. Nokia has agreed to abandon Symbian and another mobile operating
system, MeeGo, in favor of Windows Phone. Those Microsoft-powered devices are
expected by the end of 2011, but it remains an open question whether the new
platform will halt or reserve the Finnish company's market-slide.
Other analyst firms have traced Microsoft's
smartphone-market tumble over the past several quarters. Research firm
comScore, for example, recently estimated that Microsoft smartphones declined
from 7.5 percent to 5.8 percent of the market for the three-month period ending
in June. That included both Windows Phone and the company's more antiquated
Windows Mobile platform, which is being phased out.
Although Microsoft routinely declines to offer hard sales
figures associated with Windows Phone, the Seattle
estimated Microsoft's possible revenue from Windows
Phone at less than $613 million. That figure came from subtracting Xbox
360-related revenue-some $8.103 billion-from that of its overall Entertainment
and Devices Division, leaving $613 million split between Windows Phone and a
variety of much smaller projects such as Zune and Surface.
Microsoft's hope is that its upcoming
, due to final release sometime this fall, will spur greater
consumer adoption. Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics and Nokia have all committed to
building new Windows Phone devices preloaded with Mango, along with Acer and
ZTE. Some 500 new elements to the update include expanded functionality for the
Xbox Live and Office hubs, new multitasking abilities, and Bing deeply baked
into the user interface.
However, Microsoft faces considerable competition on a
number of fronts: in addition to the growing ranks of Google Android
smartphones, Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPhone in either
September or October. And sometime next year, RIM will release a series of
QNX-powered "superphones" that it hopes will make an aggressive market play.
In the meantime, consumer love of smartphones showed little
sign of abating.
"Smartphone sales continued to rise at the expense of
feature phones," Roberta Cozza, an analyst at Gartner, wrote in an Aug. 11
statement. "Consumers in mature markets are choosing entry-level and midrange
Android smartphones over feature phones, partly due to carriers' and
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