Microsoft's Smartphone Share Declines Again: Report

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-08-04 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Microsoft has experienced another smartphone market share decline, according to new data from research firm comScore.

Microsoft saw its smartphone market share decline in the three-month period ending in June, according to research firm comScore.

Specifically, the company saw its share decline from 7.5 percent to 5.8 percent, over a period when both archrivals Google and Apple experienced gains. Research In Motion also dipped, from 27.1 percent to 23.4 percent.

ComScore also listed the top mobile OEMs, in descending order, as Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola, Apple and RIM. Of those, Motorola and RIM experienced incremental declines, while the rest enjoyed equally slight gains.

Microsoft's market share included both its antiquated Windows Mobile platform and the newer Windows Phone, which was supposed to reinvigorate the company's fortunes in the smartphone space.

Instead, Windows Phone is showing signs of anemic adoption by consumers and businesses. According to data from Nielsen, Microsoft occupied some 9 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in June-trailing Google Android with 39 percent, Apple's iPhone with 28 percent and RIM with 20 percent.

During a July 11 keynote speech at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference, CEO Steve Ballmer described Windows Phone's market share as "very small," but insisted that other metrics (such as consumer satisfaction) boded well for the platform overall.

"Nine out of 10 people who bought Windows Phone would absolutely recommend it to a friend," he said, reiterating a talking point voiced by many a Microsoft executive over the past few months. "People in the phone business seem to believe in us."

Microsoft is hoping that its upcoming "Mango" update, which supposedly includes some 500 new tweaks and features, will help spur Windows Phone adoption. Mango reached its Release to Manufacturing milestone July 26. The next day, one of the company's hardware partners revealed its first smartphone running the software: Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile Communications' IS12T, which will offer a 3.7-inch screen paired to a 13.2-megapixel camera. It will arrive on Japanese store shelves by September or later, according to an IDG video uploaded to YouTube and posted on multiple news Websites, including PC World.

Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics and Nokia have all committed to building new Windows Phone devices preloaded with Mango, along with Acer and ZTE.

In the meantime, Microsoft has stayed reluctant to share any Windows Phone revenue numbers. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently dug into Microsoft's annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission report and hypothesized that, after tinkering with the revenue numbers from the company's Entertainment and Devices Division, Windows Phone earned less than $613 million since its release.

Considering that Microsoft rolled out Windows Phone in late 2010, that $613 million (if accurate) wouldn't be reflective of a full year of sales. Nonetheless, that sort of revenue would be anemic, compared with those of Apple's iPhone over a similar period or even the combined family of Google Android devices.

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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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