comScore analytics suggest Windows Phone is still behind BlackBerry

A couple days ago, we reported some encouraging news from Strategy Analytics that showed that Windows Phone had overtaken BlackBerry in Q4 2012 for the number three spot amongst mobile operating systems in the United States. Not to be outdone, marketing analytics firm comScore released a contradictory report yesterday that claims BlackBerry is still holding on to the coveted third place position.

According to comScore's findings, Microsoft's share of the mobile market decreased from 3.6% of smartphone users in the United States to just 2.9%, while BlackBerry fell two points from 8.4% to 6.4%. Despite the larger drop, BlackBerry users still outnumbered Windows users in Q4. Both platforms fell well below Google's 53.4% and Apple's 36.3%.

comScore's numbers paint a different picture than Strategy Analytics'

So what are we to make of these conflicting numbers? Well, the truth is that we can't be sure. comScore's numbers are derived "an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older," which loosely translated, is a user poll. And like any poll, the results may or may not be indicative of the actual population. Based on their results, Strategy Analytics presumably uses a different tactic to gather their data. There's no definitive way to know which is more accurate.

What we do know is that Windows Phone 8 has seen very strong sales, thanks in large part to Nokia's Lumia line of handsets. In the three months since its release, Windows Phone 8 has outpaced Windows Phone 7, 50.01% to 49.99%. Sales of Windows Phones are way up, even if they have not kept pace with the overall smartphone market.

In the end, even though it's exciting to see reports of Windows Phone overtaking BlackBerry and disheartening to read the contrary, we really cannot say who is ahead in the battle for number three. All we can do is report on the reports. History will decide.

Source: comScore; Via: BGR

Seth Brodeur
  • Comscore is based on current usage and BGR is based on current sales. Problem solved.
  • Interesting. How do they score usage? By polling?
  • Can't speak to sales, but BB is most definitely waaaay ahead of WP in terms of usage.  I have seen only one or two windows phones "in the wild" on my daily commute, but Blackberries are still quite common.
  • I see zero BB "in the wild" over tha past few months, but I have seen a couple of Windows Phone.  One person's experience doesn't really prove which one is ahead.
  • same here androids and iphone's. The occasional windows phone. 2 yrs ago used to see one or two every now and then but lately ive seen less maybe BB10 could change that. Personally I hope not, I want WP to take 3rd place and eventually 2nd. 
  • How about as what os is your current primary phone, if u have a secondary what os, within the next 3 months if possible what os will ur new phone os be. Seems straight forward to me
  • Before the release of the Z10, Blackberry hasn't had a phone worth buying for years. That made the Q4 sales report silly. Let's see what happens over the next few quarters. If Blackberry blows ahead in sales then WP is in trouble. I say that as someone who believes WP is the superior phone OS out there.
  • I agree with this. If these reports have been true, that bb was relatively even with WP in Q4, I don't see any way they won't pull ahead when the Z10 is released. There is a lot of pent up demand for that product. I love WP but I fear MS is simply not willing to invest what they need to for any long term success. WP should be viewed as potentially the most important thing to MS for the next 10 years and instead they always treat it like a side-project. Sigh.
  • Agree with both of you guys. I love my 8x, but I'm seeing more excitement amongst my peers for the new BBs than I ever saw for WP. Doesn't help I work in a Mac environment, but even the mac fanboys are talking about the z10. Never heard them say a peep about windows phone.
  • Meh its just fanboy talk man. WP8 is still by far a newly born OS like BB10. We should see improvements in tech and innovation in the next wave of WP devices this year.
  • I was just reading this earlier. I am saddened if this is the case.
  • I don't understand your sadness... It's no secret that the BBOS (collectively) has more users worldwide than WP; these stats don't surprise me at all.  BB devices are dirt cheap and available on small carriers (i.e. Boost, etc.) and the big 4, whereas WP can only be had via  the big 3 carriers.
    I still think that by the end of Q22013, we will have a really good picture of how well BB10 (and other iterations of BB) is faring in comparison to WP8 (and other iterations of WP).
  • im just saddened because i want windows phone to succeed. app developers dont make apps which in turn make lackluster experiences for people which in turn make them not wanna buy it. peoples consistent attacks on microsoft are turning what could be a fantastic product into a failure. blackberry doesnt offer anything unique outside of android and ios besides that peek feature..
  • I share your pain man.. I just cant understand why!! Sure WP has its quirks..but it isn't that bad!!
  • it just doesnt and im being quite honest i was one of those people excited for bb10 and when i saw i would have to wait for it to be where android is to do what android already does i saw it wasnt worth it. windows phone is unique beautiful fluid and fast and it challenges your ability to stray from the herd and be your own individual in a sense. after all a phone is an extension of yourself, why would you wanna do something for the sake of being noticed by other people who do it. be unique set yourself apart i say. Give windows phone a shot to make you fall in love with it as i have. :)
  • Understood, but don't assume that developers won't develop for WP; be optimistic :)  The apps are trickling in, slowly, but surely, and I'm optimistic that more are on the way.
  • Saddened is not just's about price too... I hate having to pay $4.99 for an app that iOS or Android has for $0.99 and it's pretty common like that on the Windows Phone store..
  • Translation, Comscore is guessing based on  some loose data metrics. WP devices are selling out in a lot of places. To claim their share dropped during this timeframe is in all honestly, idiotic. That, or Comscore is clumping who-knows-what in their definition of a Window's phone.
  • what you are experiancing is called denial. but its not your fault. you read stupid sites like wmpu that put out real idiotic facts that make you think the os is doing great. like todays story that enterprises like wp. ive been hearing this same sht for years. you call polling results idiotic. you realize that polling is a statistical science as opposed to anecdotal evidence that you see more wp's or wp are sold out.. so what your calling idiotic is not.   and again what your feeling is the pain of backing a losing os. sorry cause i like wp as a concept, but blame msft for fing it up
  • Wow someone's on their time of the month lol so what if he is backing an OS he likes? Everyone does it. Name calling isn't cool in any respect.
  • when did i call him a name, all i said he was in denial...cause he is. he's denying a scientific poll (that companies pay for) with his opinion.i attacked wmpu and the comment, not the commenter 
  • Just in general man don't mind me I feel like I am on crack
  • try drinking , itll balance you out
  • lol thanks for the advice. im at work maybe why im so strung out right now. have a noreaster heading our way and i might have to work anyway.. sucks
  • I feel your pain about the snow, in Jersey are getting the same thing.
  • Yeah I hear you guys are getting it worse down there.
  • Statistics is not a hard "science" by any means. And it can be skewed to misrepresent a population while still remaining "true". A frequently quoted saying by Mark Twain: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics".
  • true, itdepends on the sample size and questions asked  but so far the stats have been right about wp's market share. and whatever it is, the numbers are more reliable than "i see more people with wp or this one store was sold out of lumias." if you believe the numbers are wrong then
  • Not sure what you mean about the wmpu thing. I have simply seen reports as well as posts here of people finding WP8 devices in short supply from various news outlets. I also read that  Nokia reported strong WP sales and MS stated that WP sales were up 300%.
    So perhaps that is just anecdotal, but I wouldn't say stats from an 'intelligent online survey' by ComScore is much better. And as you yourself admitted in a post below polls can be inaccurate depending upon the number of people involved in the poll as well as the makeup of the people polled. In some cases they can be very inaccurate.  So yeah, you actually refuted your own comment. No bother though, but you might want to lighten up a bit. You sounds pretty stressed out.
  • Doesn't ComScore count all iOS devices and all Android devices in these polls? So the numbers include tablet device sales, not just smartphones?
  • No, this is just phones. As others have pointed out (and as a tech blogger writing about this SHOULD know) comScore looks at the overall installed based (all users), while the other reports look at percentage of sales in the reporting period. Both have their place.
  • It doesn't matter who's #3 or #4 at the end of the day. They are both nice OS. Its the gap from #2 to #3 that is more important. Until either BB or MS get to 10+%, neither will get the support they really need. I would like to see them both take a little thunder out of Google and Apple. More competitive market is good.
  • Comscore are full of shit they are never accurate.. Look at it this way,this will fuel the WINDOWSPHONE team to make sure that it's updated and comparable.. The blackberry 10 is mind blowing..why can't msft do something not exactly like that but at least in a complete state.. Blackberry created something different and complete out of the box,on the other hand msft is always missing something..i dont get it why..msft is bigger smarter they have more money and still can't get the job done...
  • "Blackberry created something different and complete out of the box"
    uh WHAT?  BB created something by stealing something out of everyone's box.
  • Good 1
  • what exactly did they steal? 
  • people hub (WP) swiping up to toss applications into the background (WebOS) design of the phone itself (iphone) :D
  • I'm sure there are some things msoft is missing with WP but the issue here IMHO is third parties. Not just on mobile phones but other devices as well, third parties complain of low sales while never releasing their products. Its a catch 22. They won't release an app on a low use OS even though those apps missing could be the reason behind the small install base.
  • Ok... More people use blackberries. Which ones? The recently announced BBs or the old ones? Cause if old ones are counted too, they should consider windows mobile as well.
  • I guarantee you, there are a *LOT* more BlackBerrys in use running the old OS than Windows Mobile still in use.
    Also, doesn't Comscore measure Windows Phone *AND* Windows Mobile together?
  • I guarantee you that every depot warehouse of any sort has at least 10 windows mobile devices running. they should count them together since BB was rebuilt from ground up just like WP
  • The Windows Mobile/Windows Phone argument made sense 6 months ago. This report is measuring an OS after a major new release of software and hardware. Don't be silly. 
  • Why do people assume there will be a number three? There never has been in the PC world.
  • So your one of those 2 horse race guys...?
  • Well there will be a third OS in the literal sense, in that there of course will be third-largest userbase, but every year for the last decade has been the year of Linux. There's a working assumption amongst many that there will be a third significant OS in the mix, and I'm curious as to why people think that. 
  • Because choice is a good thing. Why limit it to two operating systems.. People become complacent how can competition drive innovation when there's no one to innovate against. You can already see it in android and IOS that the operating systems are running out of things to steal from each other. They need a third racer to keep them on their toes.
  • You're making the mistake of thinking I'm endorsing a lack of options by wondering if there will be. I'm simply enquiring as to why there is a presumption that there will be a viable third mobile OS. I don't disagree with you that choice is a good thing. 
  • I'm just saying, I'm not putting words in your mouth.
  • No - but there has been in mobile and the console world
  • When in the mobile world? And good point about the console world, although you have to wonder how long it'll be before Ninetendo stops making hardware. 
  • Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Symbian. One reason why there can be a third or fourth player is because mobile phones are replaced so frequently.
  • I have never seen a company spend so much money on advertising and see such poultry results..(in recent memory and taking both the surface and wp into account) I see the commercials all day everyday then see polls saying they are losing ground. How is this possible?! They have big name stars, commercial spots every three seconds, and support of the big two carriers! I am seeing Verizon windows commercials for god sakes. If they somehow fail I can honestly say they went down fighting hard.
  • Blackbarry just going by samsung way - copy iphone.
  • Z10 is nothing but hype right now Blackberry is a well known brand. WP has new brands that alot of people are not familar with Lumia is the start its been 2 years but Nokia doesn't have a great presence in North America Earths marketing machine.
    For Windows Phones to really catch on MS needs to associate it with the Surface or Xbox branding.
    We still don't know the outcome of the Surface brand it came out sluggih but hopefully it matures in the next year or two.
    The Xbox brand can potentially be a letdown especially if it requries an Internet connection to work.
    Also I really think Blue will unify Windows Phone, RT and Windows 8. A simple Blue upgrade and adding more PC features to Windows Phone's could potentially set the bar even higher.
  • I think part of the blame is squarely on MSFT.. Yes app developers need to support the platform..but what is stopping MSFT from offering a sublime experience for stock apps and hubs?? For example: Skype and xbox music..i haven't used em that much..(xbox music isn't even available in my country)..but according to people who is still subpar compared to other platforms..
    Same goes for FB and twitter integration..why haven't they adder new features to the integrated services??
    Photosynth?? Where is it"?
    I absolutely adore the platform and i am patient enough to wait but when my family and friends ask for advice regarding phones..i am hard pressed to suggest WP..
    MSFT must stop being lazy..or else it will keep languishing at 4!!
  • i used to recommend wp to family, but they hated it. this lead to an arguyment cause i was talking to their points the way some wp fanboys talk in in these comments . i called them stupid and moronic for not seeing the beauty. i then told them to not let the door hit them on the way out... long story short  i got disowned by my family and have been sleeping in a van down by the river. see what windows phone did to me. /jk
  • ill give it to you that one made me laugh.
  • Haven't even seen a BB the last couple of years here in Norway...
  • Like I said yesterday, the reporters and also the analyst (who didn't reply to my inquiries, BTW) who did the report yesterday likely measured one thing but wrote it as another. 
    Likely, there were more Windows Phones sold than BlackBerrys to smarpthone buys in the fourth quarter. And it makes complete sense. Nokia did a big push, several manufacturers launched and Microsoft launched both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Meanwhile, RIM had old devices, running an OS that was about to be replaced, and announced the launch date for a new OS. This is a good news story for Windows Phone,
    But the analyst and the reporters advertised it as "Windows Phone is now the third biggest ecosystem", which suggested that Windows Phone had more active users than BlackBerry in the U.S. That's an even better "good news story" ... and one I didn't believe for a second because it would have implied a gigantic 1-quarter defection like the mobile market has never seen before.
    Regardless, Windows Phone has a good news story. And like many others, I'm cheering for them *AND* BlackBerry 10 to grow.
  • BGR has always been bias against Windows everything. They are not credible. They are one of the worst sites I have ever been too. They are equivalent to the way FOX news report on anything. Total Bias..
  • You meant like PMSNBC. Total BIAS. There I fixed it.
  • NO, I was correct when I said Fox News.. They have been sent to court for making up news, but I guess they get a pass for considering them selves entertainment, not acual factual News. Fox News gets okay to misinform public, court ruling UPDATED:Many news agencies lie and distort facts, not many have the guts to admit court...positioning the First Amendment as their defense! The attorneys for Fox News, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, successfully argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves. We are pushing for a consumer protection solution that labels news content according to its adherence to ethical journalism standards that have been codified by the Society of Professional Journalists (Ethics) A News Quality Rating System and Content Labeling approach, follows a tradition of consumer protection product labeling, that is very familiar to Americans. The ratings are anti-censorship and can benefit consumers.
  • You don't see anyone with a bb in Australia these days just android & iPhone but WP has not been advertised at all so I'm not surprised it isn't more popular down under!
  • I think it is not suprising either. BB-OS is on the market since years with many many different devices so it will take at least one year or more to overtake them.
    However, I am very optimistic that WPs will outnumber BBs.
    The new BB Z10 seems to be successfull but why? All the tests complain about the VERY bad battery....
  • No they don't. The only thing that's happened is just the same small group of people with bad batteries that you read about for every single phone on the market, including wp8. Most reports say the battery is just fine. 
  • Tell me brandmessage, when we are talking about poll numbers in the low single figures, what the margin of error is please. Thanks. A 3% market share with a MoE of 3% is useless
  • without knowing their exact methodology and sampling rates I can't even begin to give you a margin of error on either one. But you're right it could be closer to zero /jk/ my point was that we shoulld stop bashing these reports cause we dont like them and delude ourselves with anecdotal evidence which has a MOE of 100%. 
  • Te burden is on Microsoft to make WInPhone a sucess - Nokia can't do it alone.  MS can't market their way out of a paper bag!  If Nokia wasn't propping them up WP would be nowhere!
    First order of business shoudl be to banish the word "Windows".  MSoft just refuses to admit that their history has left so many customers over 20 with a very bad taste in their mouths from BS PC OS's that have been foisted on them too many times by Microsoft.  And those under 20 see "Windows" as old fashioned and stodgy.  The Surface brand is their best to date, and I don't just mean for a MS produced phone, or Tablet for that matter.
    Try to imagien a bunch of teenagers getting excited over a friend's Windows Phone. Can't hear it can you.
    Now try to imagine the conversation over a "Surface Phone".  Sound different?  Uh huh - me too.
    Wake up and start selling to your strength Microsoft, not to your nostalgia for 1980!
  • Hahaha this is not true. Just because crappy BlackBerry announced the z10 they think it will be a comeback hahaha it a ugly phone. We all know rim or BlackBerry is dead. They don't even have much apps. I know wp8 is third and soon will be second.