Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 failed to halt the company's market-share slide in smartphones during its first few months of release, according to a comScore report.
7 failed to halt Microsoft's decline in smartphone market-share during its
first few months of release, according to new data from research firm comScore.
In a new
report, comScore suggests Microsoft's share of the U.S. smartphone platform
market dipped 1.7 percent between October 2010 and January 2011, from 9.7
percent to 8.0 percent. That trailed Google, which ended January with 31.2
percent of the market, Research In Motion with 30.4 percent and Apple with 24.7
percent. Microsoft did manage to beat Palm, whose share declined 0.7 percent
during that three-month period to 3.2 percent.
seen its smartphone market share decline over the past several quarters, due in
large part to fierce competition from Google Android and the Apple iPhone. The
increased antiquation and fragmentation of the Windows Mobile platform also
contributed to Microsoft's loss of prominence in the segment.
In an attempt
to reverse that erosion, Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 late in 2010. The
smartphone platform's early November rollout in the United States was preceded
by a late October launch in Europe. In contrast to Google Android and the Apple
iPhone, whose user interfaces largely rely on grid-like pages of individual applications,
Windows Phone 7 centers on six subject-specific Hubs that aggregate Web content
Microsoft told journalists some 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units had been sold
by manufacturers to retailers. By January, that number had apparently risen to
2 million, although the company seemed reluctant to share how many of those
devices had ended up in the hands of consumers. In place of that data,
Microsoft executives began pointing to research reports suggesting some 93
percent of Windows Phone owners were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
with their new smartphones.
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 corporate Website. "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 run."
comScore numbers suggest that Windows Phone 7 is doing nothing, at least in the
extreme short term, to halt that slide. Without a blockbuster uptick in
consumer activations within its first few weeks of general release, Microsoft
will most likely have to depend on a long game-similar to the one being played
with Bing, which has made incremental gains against search-engine rival
Google-in order to gradually make its presence felt in the smartphone arena.
launched on GSM-based networks such as AT&T, Microsoft can also look
forward to Windows Phone 7's appearance on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
networks such as Verizon. That will increase the potential consumer base for
the devices. If Microsoft keeps to its update schedule, this week will also see
the release of a software update intended to add a cut-and-paste feature and
speed application loading.
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.