Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 lagged behind its older Windows Mobile platform for the fourth quarter 2010, according to new data from the NPD Group.
Windows Phone 7 faces a steep uphill climb for consumer adoption, with the
latest numbers from research firm NPD Group suggesting the smartphone
platform's market share lags behind that of Windows Mobile, its older and
increasingly antiquated predecessor.
For the fourth
quarter of 2010, NPD Group put Windows Phone 7's share at 2 percent of the
market, dead even with Palm's WebOS but lagging Windows Mobile (4 percent),
Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise (19 percent), Apple's iOS (19 percent)
and current market leader Android (53 percent).
enjoyed a quarter-over-quarter rise of 9 percent, while iOS and RIM fell 4
percent and 2 percent, respectively. Windows Mobile tumbled 3 percent. NPD
Group's Top 5 smartphones included the Apple iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X, HTC
Evo 4G, Apple iPhone 3GS and the Motorola Droid 2.
made the case for Windows Phone 7's differentiation and improved integration,"
Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for the NPD Group, wrote in
a Jan. 31 statement. "Now, the company must close the feature gap, offer more
exclusive capabilities, work with partners to deliver hardware with better
differentiation and leverage its extensive experience in driving developer
communities to increase its app offerings."
7 devices made their U.S. debut Nov. 8, after the quarter was already under way,
and continue to be unavailable on Verizon and Sprint. Those variables could
have affected the platform's quarterly market share, although Rubin also hinted
that the competition between iOS and Android might have drowned out Microsoft's
entrance on the scene.
mid-quarter launch, Windows Phone 7 entered the epicenter of competition
between iOS and Android at AT&T," he wrote. "Both competitors offer mature
feature sets and large app libraries."
handsets continue to be available at the four major U.S. carriers, and a
percentage of enterprises still use the devices in conjunction with specialized
applications. When Microsoft designed Windows Phone 7, company executives
decided to make a very clean and conspicuous break with the past, opting to
design the new platform with no support for Windows Mobile applications.
7 is currently available on GSM-based networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile,
with CDMA-capable (Code Division Multiple Access-capable) smartphones that are scheduled
to debut by the second half of 2011. On Jan. 26, Microsoft confirmed that some 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices had been sold by
manufacturers to retailers
, but offered no guidance on how many of
those ended up in consumers' hands.
When asked by
eWEEK about the possibility of poor consumer-sales numbers, Microsoft
executives have referred to research data suggesting that some 93 percent of
Windows Phone owners are either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the
executive from LG Electronics, one of Microsoft's smartphone platforms, suggested
in a Jan. 14 interview with the blog Pocket-lint
that Windows Phone 7's launch was "less than we expected."
James Choi, a
marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics, said in the
posting: "We strongly feel that it has a strong potential even though the first
push wasn't what everyone expected." He declined to offer sales data.
expected to push through a series of software updates to Windows Phone 7
devices in the coming weeks, including tweaks that boost application speed and
a cut-and-paste feature.