Microsoft's share of the U.S. smartphone market is continuing to decline, according to research firm comScore. That's despite a push behind Windows Phone.
Microsoft's share of the U.S. smartphone market continued to
decline through May, according to research firm comScore.
For the three-month period between the end of February and
the end of May, comScore estimated Microsoft's U.S. share dipping from 7.7
percent to 5.8 percent. That comes despite
the marketing push behind the Windows Phone platform.
During the same period, adoption of Google's Android
platform rose from 33 percent to 38.1 percent, while Apple enjoyed a slight
uptick from 25.2 percent to 26.6 percent. Research In Motion continued its
market slide, declining from 28.9 percent to 24.7 percent.
The top mobile OEMs, in descending order of market share, included Samsung, LG Electronics,
Motorola, Apple and Research In Motion.
Despite the softness in Windows Phone's share, Microsoft is
actively seeking another way to profit off the smartphone market: extracting
royalties from Android device manufacturers. According to a
July 6 Reuters report
, Microsoft is demanding that Samsung pay $15 in
royalties for every Android-based smartphone the latter produces.
Microsoft insists that the Android platform infringes on a
number of its patents, and has used its considerable legal resources to pursue
manufacturers of Android smartphones and tablets. Some of those manufacturers,
including HTC, have agreed to pay Microsoft royalties. Over the past 10 days, Microsoft has entered into a series of
patent-licensing agreements with four other Android device manufacturers,
including Wistron Corp., Onkyo Corp., Velocity Micro and General Dynamics Itronix.
But some Microsoft targets have been more willing to fight
back. Motorola retaliated to a Microsoft patent-infringement suit with an
intellectual-property complaint of its own. And Barnes & Noble, whose Nook
e-reader uses Android, filed a counter-suit against Microsoft after the latter
sued it for patent infringement.
In the meantime, Microsoft can only hope that its upcoming
Windows Phone "Mango" update will increase the platform's appeal to consumers
and businesspeople. As Microsoft executives demonstrated for a small group of
media and analysts during a May press event in New York City, Mango's new
features include a redesigned Xbox Live Hub, home-screen tiles capable of
displaying up-to-the-minute information, the ability to consolidate friends and
colleagues into groups, and visual voicemail-more than 500 new elements in all,
if Microsoft is to be believed.
Mango is due for release sometime this fall. Samsung, HTC,
LG Electronics and Nokia have all committed to building new Windows Phone
devices preloaded with Mango. Meanwhile, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE have apparently
agreed to produce Windows Phone units for the first time.
However, chances are good that Windows Phones released
during the fall timeframe will run head-on into Apple's next iPhone, which
current rumors suggest will launch sometime in September. At the same time,
various Android manufacturers and Research In Motion are making concerted
efforts to push their own devices into the ecosystem. To say this is a crowded
marketplace is an understatement.
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