Plummeting marketshare for RIM makes Windows Phone look slightly better in the US

Another Monday, another questionable story about marketshare and smartphones is making its way around the tech blogs. This one centers on data collected by StatCounter, a site that collects data usage on browsing habits. They claim to gather data on more than 3 million websites and 15 billion page views per month, making them one of the largest aggregating companies around.

Recently, WMPoweruser ran a story that looked at browser data for RIM versus Windows Phone in the United States. Assuming all the respective trajectories stay on the same course, it looks like Windows Phone may overtake RIM sometime in November of this year. But is that the whole story?

Hint: Windows Phone is the bottom one

While that makes for some nice headlines, the actual data is not nearly so cheerful. For one, it shows that RIM is bleeding much more than Windows Phone is gaining. For instance, since January they have dropped from 5.83% of the mobile market to 2.96% this month— if accurate, that is certainly a devastating number.

On the other hand, Windows Phone during the same time period has grown from 0.79% to a not-so-impressive 1.25% mobile market share. Granted, that’s a 58% increase but when your numbers are so low to begin with, it’s easy to inflate that percentage-change. Meanwhile, RIM has shed nearly 50% of its user base during the same time period. In actual customers though, RIM is hurting more than Windows Phone is gaining. That's the take away.

To put that all in perspective, Series 40 currently has a larger browser market share than Windows Phone with 1.49%. Meanwhile Android rides high at 40% and the iOS is hovering at 50%. Windows Phone ranks only slightly higher than "other" at this point.


And those numbers are just for the United States. Worldwide, Windows Phone is so small that StatCounter doesn’t even have a measurement.

So sure, assuming all else is equal, Windows Phone should overtake RIM in the US with a not-so massive ~1.6% share by November. But when compared to iOS and Android, it’s still a blip on the radar.

The real question is can Windows Phone 8 significantly accelerate growth more than Windows Phone 7? There is also the question of RIM, whose browser actually ranked higher than anyone else for HTML5 compatibility. While we’re almost ready to write them off, the Canadian group does have very strong carrier relations in the US, more so than Nokia and we can’t count them out yet completely.

Look, we obviously want Windows Phone to do well but we’re not gushing over these numbers. We would rather kind of forget that they even exist and return to them in December after Windows Phone 8 presumably has started to make an impact.

Source: StatCounter GlobalStats; via WMPU

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Very balanced piece, I certainly agree that WP shouldn't be crowing about these numbers. MS & co need to hit hard this fall and stake a legit claim as the third option.
  • I don't trust numbers from Statcounter, they are growing Google bias.
  • That's enlightening :(
  • I feel bad for RIM. The company is in a death spiral. They think they can make a comback with BlackBerry 10 in February but with the gains of the other three players (especially Windows Phone 8) it'll be too late.
  • Microsoft needs to put on a media blitz. I have a co-worker who gave up his iPhone4 for a windows phone after we gave it to him to test on AT&T. He can't wait till next month when Nokia announces the new WP. People who try it for any length of time generally like it as it is smooth and super easy to use.
  • Honestly, I say screw marketing, MS has never been good at it and never will be.  The money would be better spent elsewhere.  What MS really needs to focus on is making sure that all the carriers carry at least 2-3 good WP8 models.  The fact that Spring and Verizon still only have 1 crappy 2010 model in this year of 2012 is a sin.  I have several friends/family members on those two networks who have been ready to switch since last Fall but have been waiting patiently on some new hardware.  Seriously, why does AT&T have to have Focus, Focus S, Focus Flash, HD7, Titan, Titan 2, Lumia 900.  Spread the love more evenly.
  • That's up to the carriers, not MS..
  • No, lack of good marketing is why they have no consumer base to speak of. Microsoft NEEDS to get a solid marketing campaign going that appeals to consumers. In the old days, it was fine that all the geeks pushed Microsoft out to everyone in the office, and everyone bought home tech based on what they used at work. The opposite is true now, and they need consumers to care about fun AND work on the same systems... or split them up... whatever they prefer as long as it's consistent, and oh by the way, Windows 8 gives them that. The "if you build/release it, they will come" mentality never really works anymore.
  • No, it's not up to Microsoft to market to end users a product that they actually don't sell to those users. It's up to the OEMs to promote their devices and push them to carriers and consumers. Now what Microsoft should focus on is listening, developing and delivering. And hand over their promo bugdet not only to Nokia but also to Samsung and HTC, and let them do some proper grown-up marketing. Those companies tendo do it right, where Microsoft usually fails. Nokia did a splendid job at promoting the Lumias here in Europe. Microsoft would probably quickly sink a gazilion dollars in another gates-seinfeld type fiasco.
  • I don't understand this logic. If one of the talking points in getting people to switch to Windows Phone is that no matter the device, you're almost guaranteed the same experience, then shouldn't the OS be front and center? Therefore Microsoft should be doing more to get it out there
  • This. I love WP but AT&T has spotty coverage where I live. I have been in Verizon hell since launch with AT&T having an avalanche of devices and Verizon not having squat. This is Verizons last chance in my book. They deliver or I'm switching to AT&T even though their coverage isn't as good.
  • I agree, nothing here to celebrate just yet. Some comfort its not going down at least. And as I said countless other times, the services on WP have to work in countrys outside US if there to expect any impact at all, at least in the long haul. People here is unfortunately buying iPhones, and they get iTunes media ...we on WP get non, if your not using a Nokia, then you get Crackle. We keep talking about the great Nokia apps, and while that is indeed true, iTunes is giving the same value (I hate iTunes, but facts are facts, people use it) AND all media they can eat. I hope WP8 will step up the game...ALOT.
  • A Zune pass should include movies
  • How could MS pull that off without jacking up the $15 price of Zune Pass?
  • Zune Pass is $10 and if they bumped it up to $15 and included movies I'd dump Netflix and jump in a heartbeat.
  • Old Zune pass is $15 with 10 songs a month you can keep. Zune has NEW movies and Netflix has old ones. So Zune with movies will never happen. Even Wal-Mart's vudo is high for new movies.
  • I'd go as far to say that Zune media pass idea is great and id gladly pay even 40$ a month to have that id dump not only Netflix but cable entirely
  • I've already dumped cable for whatever I can stream from the internet. I would also gladly pay $40-50 a month for a Zune pass that included video. I'm currently on Zune and its a great value for music.
  • I prefer the Amazon model for prime members, $70 a year. You can purchase/rent new releases and stream the old stuff for free. Considering the other perks Amazon Prime offers for that $70 a year, it's one of the best deals out there. They also include music match, cloud storage and some of the best prices on music purchases.
  • On the other hand... My daughter loves Nokia Music. Free streaming music bonded to a contract with no-limit surfing beats all other phones hands down. I just laugh ay other parents paying for monthly Spotify for their iPhone loving kids :-)
  • The frequent stats articles are one reason I finally stopped visiting WMPU.  Its not that the content of the articles were lies, its that the headlines were always misleading and overly optomistic, like "WP Marketshare Growth Doubles In March!!!".  You can twist stats and numbers to give any impression you want, but in the end WP is still stuck at this 1-2% marketshare.  So like the author here states, I would rather just wait until WP8 before looking at stats again.
  • No time to celebriate yet. Everybody knows that Wp's marketshare is going to spike. especially in the enterprise sector
  • I hope so.  Problem is, we are moving quickly to a BYOD (bring your own device) type workplace.  People wan't to use their iPhones and iPads and company IT departments are actually starting to accomodate them.  Its sad to see that MS has basically wasted the last 2 years in this area by marketing WP7 as a consumer only device.  Now they dont have much time to catch back up.  WP8 is an awesome step, sharing the same kernel as W8 and similar app code base.  I just hope its not too late.
  • We (and I say "we" because I'm an IT guy) are embracing it only because we lost the battle with our CEO and executives about it. We didn't have a solution from Microsoft to market the personal aspects of tech and detract them from Apple. I agree, I hope it's not too late for Microsoft to recover. I'm optimistic with their approach, but it will take more than just getting their stuff out there... they have to get attention.
  • I see this too, there's just too much pressure from the execs to not allow personal devices. I have to hand it to the IT guys though, its taken a while for this to happen, too bad MS wasn't along for the ride.
  • I don't care who has to decline. I want WP8 to succeed.
  • Im guessing alot of peeps who are up for renewal of their contracts are waiting on WP8 to launch and then hopefully we will see a massive spike in sales numbers.
  • This is what I'm doing. On Verizon HTC Trophy. Can't wait to update. Waiting on Verizon now.
  • Me too. :-)
  • Stupid product name, p*ss poor marketing.Said it before, but people buy an iPhone for a "reason": Apple "Siri", "Retina Display", "theres an app for that" a clear reason to buy. Microsoft "do something amazing every day".
    Really, is that the best their marketing twerps could come up with?
    The line needs to be more direct. Buy a Lumia, it works with Facebook and Hotmail. Buy a Lumia, its the fastest phone you can buy. Buy a Lumia, the picture of your kid updates when they update their twitter. Make people want it because it "does something" or "has something".Not rocket science this sales lark. MS, change the name, market the product harder.
  • And don't forget most sheep by an iPhone because "everybody else has one".
  • Growth has suffered for WP7 since the WP8 announcement. Devil's advocate suggests users are waiting now for WP8. I have shown my Titan II to some that were looking for new devices and they said they would go look at them. Here is hoping.
  • WHY would you EVER suggest people get a WP7 phone? They're outdated and OBSOLETE. They aren't going to get any more new good apps in a few months. Mint and BBC have already publically shown so.  You must really hate those people.
  • I agree with you, man.
  • WP7 phones are good looking, fast, stable, easy to use and now also inexpensive. Why wouldn't you want one? Why would you suffer using a fugly iPhone or clumsy android device for the next few months? Why?
  • You know what I like? Daniel Rubino. Not because we share the same name and the same initials (okay that might be the huge share of it), but because of stories like this. He clearly is a WP fan, but does not let that cloud his logical thinking skills. I have no problems with bias as long as it is clearly stated and that it still focuses on the problems. I can stand blind adherence or fanatic obsession. thanks 
  • So, you win by others fail?
  • This only shows US trends. Globally?
  • From the article:
    "And those are just for the United States. Worldwide, Windows Phone is so small that StatCounter doesn’t even have a measurement."
  • Nothing against Windows phone, I'm thinking of getting a WP8, but I don't buy these stats at all. Given RIMs position in enterprise and espcially government (which is slow to make any changes), both the low level and decline in RIM market share is just not believable. Now it is true that RIM phones older than OS7 have crappy browsers so on browsing data maybe (still doubtful) but equating browsing to market share just seems like willful blindness.
    Also if it's true that iOS is ahead of Android in the US their market share in other nations must be devistatingly small since in world wide shipments iOS trails Android by a very substantial margin.
  • "Also if it's true that iOS is ahead of Android in the US their market share in other nations must be devistatingly small since in world wide shipments iOS trails Android by a very substantial margin."
    I believe their global share is around 20% - not all that devestating.
  • Yeah sure. Just like RIM reporting loses in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 3 quarters was also not true.
  • WP8 to existing phones, at least to Lumia 900, etc, that can boost sales, becouse other potential WP buyers simply wait after "perfect" news in end of june. For such "marketing" some guys should be fired from their positions i MS...
  • W8P on a WP7 device; I think they said its not going to happen for a number of reasons. The first thing that comes to mind is the different kernels: CE to NT, it'll have to be a clean install meaning a full wipe and loss of information without bricking the device. Second point is even if they could upgrade the kernels it wouldn't be financially beneficial. Third thing I can think of, although just a wondering thought, is that the current GPUs (Adreno 200 and 205) don't support the new GUI requirements sufficiently. I would love to have my Lumia 900 upgradeable to w8p but I feel like it won't and to prevent fragmentation it shouldn't. A new platform with a new minimum requirements does alot to enhance the platform performance from a users perspective. My opinion though.
  • Yeah you won't be getting an upgrade... OR any new WP7 apps once WP8 is out.
  • Lumia 900 is capable to WP8. Information can't be lost becouse of sync to Live, SkyDrive, PC, Facebook, Google, etc... It's very bad idea to release high-end WP, which is outdated couple months later...
  • True on that point, but still doesn't dismiss the possibility that it's hardware. Heck it could be that the older s1 snapdragons don't support the instruction sets used by the new w8p OS. All we know is that Microsoft itself said it won't happen leading me to believe that it might be a hardware requirement for OS to work properly. We don't know and until they tell us officially we won't. I saying these things based on assumptions though so in that respect I could be wrong.
  • I think they should put WP to sell on no-contract carriers too, like Boost, Metro, Virgin, etc ..
  • Windows Phone 8 will need *solid* carrier availability and support in order to begin achieving stable double-digit figures, and we know how uncertain that is... But honestly, I'd like to see a 4+ horse race, variety isn't a bad thing in a market.
  • I want wp8 to succeed but let's be real. Many people that left blackberry early in the year have gone to android or apple and wouldn't come to wp8 for at least another 18 months. Im sure there will be a spike in market share in the last quarter, but then after it will be a slow pace. For me this is the start for WP and others have had a few more years head start to get where they are. It will all come good in the end
  • I don't think we'll see a "spike" with WP8 but more of a gradual and steady marketshare growth.
  • I came from BlackBerry to Windows Phone and I don't regret it at all.
  • With windows phone 8 rapidly approaching, many are waiting...and ms is finally gonna hit hard with its campaign, they finally have their full ecosystem in check and I for one am super excited!! We will see windows 8 and wp8 pushed..and pushed hard, the renaissance is forever!!!
  • Same was said with Mango. Next was Nokia and Operation Thunder (or whatever it was called). Only so many times you can go to that well of "the next version" being the home run.
  • In order for Windows Phone to gain traction it needs "that" device.  You know, the device that has the critics saying, "Hey, we know it's a Windows Phone, but you know what? It also happens to be arguably the best phone on the market."  They haven't had that yet. The Lumia 900 was great, but I felt that the reaction to it was, "It's good...for a Windows Phone."
  • what idiots still uses BlackBerry? It like also saying what idiot uses Symbian? The answer is NO ONE hahahha... Windows phone is so much better.
  • I have a coworker that still uses a blackberry but only cuz her contract isn't up yet. She dislikes it very much so.
  • They really need to expand the availability of the Zune and Xbox service to other countries...
  • Actually, in Afri