Windows Phone ownership holding steady

Windows Phone ownership represents 19% of the market. A recent survey by Nielson still shows Blackberry leading ownership with 35% and Apple firmly in second at 28%.

The survey reflects smartphone ownership for a three month period ending in late March. Overall smartphone ownership increased from 21% to 23% compared to the previous three month period.

The surprise stat in the survey is likely Android's placement. While gaining two points, Android is still well behind Windows Phones with only a 9% share of the market. With the popularity of Android devices and all the doubt surrounding Windows Phone's future, one would think the numbers would be reversed.

I reckon' Windows Phones aren't dead just yet.


Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Two-year contract obligations are a great buffer against rapid OS migrations. On average, any randomly selected consumer is a year away from contract expiration. Without incurring ETF penalties it's two years for a population turnover cycle. And just how long has the Android groundswell been going on? Patience.
  • Contracts play a role, but I imaging the InfoSec departments at corporations have one too. Android does not support Exchange security policies natively, and only the most recent version 2.2 supports them in any meaningful way. Same with iPhone, and WebOS. RIM and Windows Mobile are both waaaaay ahead in the corporate arena. When you consider the need for work email on a smartphone it makes a lot more sense.
  • WM is in trouble even in the corporate arena. I see no data to support the idea it is "way ahead" and my guess is it is in free fall. Absent from all this is current sales. The article is about current units in hand. That is a seriously deceiving number because it profoundly lags reality. I have four WM handsets, two Touch Pro2 and two Treo Pro and I, absent some miracle from MS, will be getting an Android when we come up for contract in August. I also see a LOT of Android deployed at enterprise level and I am wondering how this is so if they haven't met security policy. Last legit reports were that about 18 months ago over 80% of WM phones were made by HTC and now HTC is Android central. Who is going to make these WM handsets? Trends matter.
  • It will all boil down to whether MS can appeal to the corporate market with WP7. Knowing the consumer orientation of the new OS, it seems like Android might have an opening to break in. Unless there is a business version somewhere...
  • That stat is a nice consolation, but that 'cushion' is eroding fast with the vast majority of new smartphone sales going to Android, Blackberry and iPhone. Really, it's kind of exciting. Windows Phone 7 is fast becoming a bet the future of MSFT release.
  • This survey really surprised me. Windows Phone is great platform, in it totally new OS is introduced. But yeah, i agree that The mobile OS battle is becoming a three-horse race between Google, Apple and a Microsoft.