Windows Phone 7 not helping Microsoft's mobile market share?

Quartely statistics from ComScore indicate Windows Phone 7 may not be giving Microsoft much of a boost in the mobile market. Comparing Smartphone Subscriber Shares for a three month period ending in October 2010 to the three month period ending in January 2011, Microsoft lost 1.7% of the market.

Comscore reports that 65.8 million people in the U.S. own smartphones, up 8 percent from the last quarter. Android moved to the top of the list at 31.2% of the market and RIM experienced the largest decline (-5.4%) moving them into the second slot. Apple held steady in third place with 24.7% of the market with Palm wrapping up things up with 3.2%.

While Microsoft went from 9.7% of the market to 8%, this decline may reflect, in part, the number of consumers moving from Windows Mobile to another OS prior to the release of Windows Phone 7.  Sprint and Verizon customers weren't involved in the initial launch of Windows Phone 7 and may have opted for another smartphone to tide them over.

Regardless, while Windows Phone 7 wasn't intended to be a silver bullet, the decline doesn't help build momentum with the new OS. It will be more telling to see how these numbers compare to the three month period ending in March 2011 after WP7 gets the NoDo update as well as Sprint and Verizon joins the fold.

Source: Comscore Via: ZDNet


Reader comments

Windows Phone 7 not helping Microsoft's mobile market share?


You know my thought on this and all the other surveys that are constantly on these sites? Who cares! There are millions of us trying and loving this OS and eventually our thoughts and words are going to sink in to others. Its not like iphone, which I think sucks, became a magical overnight hit. We dont even have a full and functioning OS yet, wait till 2012 and this thing really works great for video and everything else and then give us surveys.

This slower start is probably what MS expected, we'll see how it goes after Sprint and Verizon are on and MS also pushes out a few updates.

Come on now half the smartphone market in the US does not even carry WP7 and all the carriers in the US I don't think even promote or sell Windows Mobile..So these numbers mean nothing to me and should mean nothing to Developers .. people need to stop tring to scare developers away from WP7, its a great product and over time it will be in the top 3 ...The big news here is take a look at RIM !!! WOW they are going down HARD...

It also doesn't help that the WP7 phones cannot do many of the simple things the WM6.5 phone can do. My HTC HD2 came with the USB/Bluetooth Internet Sharing application. For $25 I also bought WMWifi Router. Sharing my phone's internet connection was simple. I won't buy a WP7 phone without this capability. WP7 - not winning...

Mindshare does not happen overnight. Combine this with the fact that WinMo left people with a negative impression of MS in the mobile spacce. It will be more enlightening to see WP's position next year after a full year on all 4 major US arriers.My bet is around 15% or double what it is today.

It's still hard to be only on the smallest carrier, and for the better part of last year, the only carrier with the iPhone. It could be a long hard crawl...but they might eventually get a steady 20%. They'll probably never "beat" iPhone or Android in the U.S. (one wonders if the Nokia thing will actually push them to the top in Europe though?)20% in five years could be a much much bigger 20% than it is now. However......tablets. Tablets may not seem that important...but iPad's and Honeycomb tablets definitely pimp those OS's and the interest most certainly filters down to phones. I think we know by now, with the iPad 2...we know tablets aren't going anywhere...and are going to grow in functionality.

what is the trend? has it slowed? has it sped up? or its just about the same? at this point I think that should be the real focus here.

MS- needs to step it up ASAP- make that wp7 development team work smthin, cause honestly, they did a lousy job with wp7- leaving out so many great stuff from winmo- that, believe it or not, MS- introduced in the first place with winmo... Now i have to wait COPY/PASTE, OMG its the feat of the 62nd century... And that statistics up there doesnt say anythin bout i4 on verizon... MS- get serious, u r z biggest, no need for playing catch-up cause wp7 has the potential for top-place.. But, IT JUST NEEDS FREEDOM...

I'd argue the loss in market share would be much faster had Windows Phone 7 not been released. Probably would have been even worse than RIM's 5 point market share loss considering RIM is relatively ingrained in the corporate market, and nobody today would seriously consider a winmo 6.5 phone.

Wait till All US carriers have at least 2-3 models to chose from and after a few updates. I picture by the end of the year, Windows Phone 7 will be up there in 2nd or 3rd. Full carrier support, then a massive marketing campain, better than they are currently doing.

Several issues with the above statistics:First, ComScore claims that the 40,000 mobile users polled are "representative." However, without any error or confidence bounds, it's impossible to tell how representative the stats really are.Second, the numbers given are percentages, not totals. The total number of WP7 users could be growing, There's just no way to tell.Third, George's speculation about Microsoft's possible decline in market share being due to WM owners switching OS's is exactly that: speculation. There's nothing in that stats above to support it.Finally, what does "... Windows Phone 7 wasn't intended to be a silver bullet ..." mean? Of course, as far as Microsoft is concerned, that's exactly what WP7 is supposed to be. You don't make a clean break with the past and your customers, as George seems to be implying, unless you feel you have the next big thing or a "silver bullet."As for those saying in effect that the new OS hasn't had enough time: what we're looking for here are trends: indications of future success. If you believe the above stats, Microsoft isn't headed in the right directions and it won't matter how much time they have. I for one don't believe enough information is given to understand what the stats mean.What is good that a number of you question the stats just as I did. I think it's time WPCentral stopped presenting half-baked results of questionable surveys without the proper context and with speculative ramblings given little thought. They simply don't support the product or users.