Microsoft's smartphone market share for the past quarter, as indicated by comScore, suggests the company needs Windows Phone 7 to be a hit with consumers.
its smartphone market share continue to decline in the three months ending
December 2010, placing further pressure on its new Windows Phone 7 to succeed.
research firm comScore, Microsoft's share dropped from 9.9 percent in September,
to 8.4 percent in December. Research In Motion's share also dropped by 5.7
percent during that period, to 31.6 percent of the market, while Palm's stake
tumbled 0.5 percent, to 3.7 percent. Apple enjoyed a slight uptick of 0.7
percent, to 25 percent of the market, and Google Android continued its rapid
adoption with a quarterly 7.3 percent gain, to 28.7 percent.
previous smartphone franchise, Windows Mobile, continues to maintain a presence
in the enterprise, where it backstops a number of legacy applications. For the
past year or so, though, Microsoft has made no secret of its intentions to
replace the increasingly antiquated and fragmented software with a new platform
that could compete on its own terms with Google Android and the Apple iPhone.
7 consolidates Web content and applications into a series of subject-specific
Hubs, such as "People" and "Games." Microsoft is reportedly pouring hundreds of
millions of dollars into the platform's promotion, but the overall effect of
its efforts-at least, as reflected in rising or stagnating market share-probably
won't be fully felt for several more quarters. In the meantime, questions
remain about Windows Phone 7's early market impact.
In the three
months following Windows Phone 7's rollout in the U.S. market, Microsoft has
released just two sales metrics for the platform: In December, the company told
journalists some 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units had been sold by
manufacturers to retailers and on Jan. 26, it confirmed with Bloomberg News that the number had risen to 2 million
gives no indication of how many units ended up in consumers' hands. In place of
that data, Microsoft executives have habitually pointed to research data
suggesting some 93 percent of Windows Phone owners are either "satisfied" or
"very satisfied" with their new smartphone.
executive from one of Microsoft's smartphone partners, LG Electronics, told the
blog Pocket-lint in a Jan. 14 interview
that Windows Phone 7's launch
was "less than we expected."
James Choi, a
marketing strategy and planning team director, said in that posting: "We
strongly feel that it has a strong potential even though the first push wasn't
what everyone expected." He offered no hard sales data, however. LG Electronics
is one of the companies building the initial line of Windows Phone 7 devices,
along with the likes of Samsung, Dell and HTC.
executives have pushed back that Windows Phone 7, while not necessarily a
blockbuster right out of the gate, is nonetheless selling at a satisfactory
are similar to the performance of other first-generation mobile platforms,"
Achim Berg, Microsoft's vice president of business and marketing for Windows
Phones, mentioned in a Q&A posted Dec. 21 on the company's
. "It takes time to educate partners and consumers
on what you're delivering, and drive awareness and interest in your new
offering. We're comfortable with where we are, and we are here for the long
available on GSM-based networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, Windows Phone 7
will appear on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) networks such as Sprint and
Verizon sometime in the first half of 2011.