Look at the shiny shiny...
According to latest data released by comScore, Microsoft remains comfortable in fourth position (behind RIM) with only a .4% reduction in US marketshare. This was expected with the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 8, especially with new hardware unveiled for consumers to hold out on making a purchase.
Sat at 3.6%, Microsoft continues to witness the downfall of RIM which was hit by a sizeable 3.1% drop in US shares as the company continues to battle through the tough period until it releases Blackberry 10. Falling to just 8.3% of the market, unless RIM can slow down the descent of the platform's fall, Microsoft may well find itself in third position - dependant on the imminent Windows Phone 8 launch.
We last looked at a comScore's report back in July where growth was witnessed due to the Lumia 900 launch in the states. While only .1% was recorded, it was still a plug on the marketshare bleeding we witnessed since late 2010. Unfortunately with the announcement of Windows Phone 7.8, and the slow adoption of the platform itself, Microsoft has not made enough progress to capitalise on RIM's downfall quickly.
Looking to the future, we can hope for more sustained growth, particularly once Windows 8 and already established products and services are refreshed to take advantage of further integration Microsoft is developing within its product line. While all hopes were pinned on Nokia to break through and take Windows Phone to greatness, this was simply not a realistic view with the time restraints and platform restrictions that were in place - the company could only do so much.
OEMs have shown off new Apollo hardware that take advantage of Microsoft's relaxed control on smartphone specifications. Nokia has unleashed multiple technologies that are implemented in both the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, including wireless charging, PureView and Pure Motion HD+. HTC has focused on multimedia with adding extra elements to the HTC 8X and by throwing Beats Audio into the mix.
It's sure to be an interesting end of 2012, one which will give everyone a rough idea as to how Windows Phone will do next year. We'll take a .4% drop in US marketshare. It could be worse.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.