Report: Windows Phone took 3rd place in Q4 2012 at the expense of BlackBerry.

One big bummer the past few years watching the mobile landscape has been the lack of official Windows Phone numbers from Microsoft. Things like marketshare and the amount of devices sold has been more elusive than Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster. We’re always having to base conclusions on analytics from firms that are often nothing more than speculation – good speculation, but still not official.

That said, here is a new report stating that Windows Phone has surpassed BlackBerry for 3rd place, at least in the US.

The information comes courtesy of Strategy Analytics, an analytics firm that does typical analyst-y things like track, analyze, and forecast markets. They have a report out titled “Microsoft Becomes 3rd Smartphone Platform in US in Q4 2012”. Since that report is only available to their clients, the best we can do is quote the summary:

"Microsoft Windows Phone overtook BlackBerry OS to become the third largest smartphone platform in the influential United States market during Q4 2012. It was the first time Microsoft has surpassed Blackberry since 2006. Meanwhile, Android lost share in annual terms for the first time ever. Are we now at “peak Android”? Which hardware vendors dominate the Microsoft and Android smartphone ecosystems today?"

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over 2013. During Q4 Windows Phone 8 had just come out, while BlackBerry had not launched BB10 yet--in that sense, this is hardly a fair comparison. The two will fight for marketshare the rest of the year – but hopefully at the expensive of Android and iOS customers. You already know our thoughts on the matter. 

While we would love to give you hard numbers, we don’t exactly have $7000 lying around to buy the report from Strategy Analytics. Ok, all joking aside we’ll snoop around and try and get some numbers for you.

What do you think? Who will end up in third place this year?

Source: Strategy Analytics, Via: BGR

  • You're welcome!
    I bought 4 WinPhones so far. Figure I'll put my feet up for a bit :D
  • 5 for me, only because 1 was stolen and I had to replace it. Number 6 and 7 coming in about 12 months...
  •   Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
  • Bro, I got an even better deal for you. I work as a busboy in this Chinese restaurant next door. I make 8.25 an hour and work 8 hour shifts cleaning rat shit and pimple puss filled napkins. The manager is pretty good, he tells me what to do and I promised myself that I will learn Cantonese to know what he is saying one day. It's so nice to listen to Chinese music all day and run around a restaurant careful not to trip on the rats. The best thing is, I come home from work and read wpcentral before going to school, and I read some asshole's spam comments.
  • Where do you guys work?
    I want a job like yours...
  • Lol
  • Please Microsoft, release exact numbers...
  • Now, now. No need to put the BB fanboys to shame now do we?
  • lol I dont think thatll ever happen, we're to proud to be put to shame ;)
  • Hey, I own 2 Win phones. a Samsung Ativ S (8) , and a LG optimus (7.8). I also am proud to own a BB Storm 2. All phones are in use. I would proudly own sand use al the new BB Z10 over an android ANY DAY. I have also owned an android S3, I sold it within a month. Garbage
  • Android is really bad...Terrible ui, completely useless as regards marketplace revenues and plenty of privacy and security issues.
  • -.- oh well it's not for everyone but it seems most people choose yea
  • Most people choose what their friends have, not what's actually better. Yeah.
  • No, most people choose samsung. They are not choosing the os. The main choice is iphone or gs3 if you want the big screen. WP still isn't on most people's radar. So, they are not really looking at it when they walk into a store. They are buying WP as a low cost/free option. This was how android built up its popularity and hopeful that approach will let wp grow as well.
  • Cheaper WP phones? My Samsung ativs costs $50more then gs3
  • The Galaxy III is on sale all over the place.
  • Hmm as far as basic privacy goes, I found a simple android to be MUCH secure than my windows. For eg it shows some photos on my phone i'd want to stay private ON the live tile.
    There is no way to lock certain things from opening. For eg. I cant pin lock my sms I cant hand my phone to someone to say, checkout or make a call cause they are literally free to go wherever they want once they have it.
    I cant hide certain mesgs in the inbox aswell, something an app like GO sms on android enabled.
    Toast notifications also display msgs on top, regardless of who they are from and again, cant hand my phone to someone incase a new sms pops up and I'm having a private conversation. Really hope I get options to alter these things in the future. :)
  • I say, matters Q1 and Q2 of 2013 to see how it plays out, if MS still be 3d, then you can be sure thats a lead having BB behind
  • Isn't it obvious? When MS products don't do well they never release numbers. Regardless, when MS wants to they will invest in their products for the long haul. Xbox didn't get to where it is today overnight.
  • Tru. Facts.
    I took persistant marketing and working with developers. I personally say the turning point for Xbox was when they got the Call of Duty partnership to get map packs first. This played a huge impact for Xbox.
  • What? That's ridicules to think COD saved Xbox. Come on man
  • It was easier to develop nice graphics for so the 360 usually had the better ports. Plus they milked the FPS shooter genre much better than the PS3 so crap like GTA and a jillion Halo and COD type games dominated, which was exactly what was popular.
    Not sure the Kinect thing will work for 720 though.
  • My first comment ever on this site :)
  • Congratulations.
    Hopefully, your next comments to come are ACTUALLY related to the mentioned subject.
  • Dude, don't be mean to someone who just joined.
  • Yeah, that's my job, lol/jk
  • Lol
  • Actually, I'm the master here, and you all know it! Bow down to the WP king!!!! That's me, I'm the king.. Lol!
  • Ha!
  • Lol
  • congrats :D
  • Yup... that`s the apple logic
  • I think this is mine too! Yay were twins haha but your comment made me smile. So thank you.
  • In the UK BlackBerry got about 11% market share in Q4 while WP got about 6%.
  • BB marketshare was declining faster here in the US than elsewhere, I believe.
  • I believe the world right now # % - Windows Phone 7%
    - BlackBerry 3%
    - iPhone 15%
    - Android 75%
  • I think a more realistic figure(s) would be something like this:
    Windows Phone: 10%
    BlackBerry: 7%
    iPhone: 35%
    Android: 47%
  • Varies by my local area it's about 60% iPhone 39% Android 1% WP 0% BB
  • Of what? Device sales in the last quarter or devices in use?
    You guys keep tossing around % numbers without saying what they are percentages of? Why do Comscore and IDC have different % numbers? Because they measure different things ...
  • I am in London now, I never see such a number of sheeps with iphones, really people here totally lacks personality and taste (same for food :)
  • I hate to say it, but it's the same in the US.
  • I totally agree! In the UK iPhones have come out of nowhere. In public transport, work, uni - Android:iOS:WP is like 2:7:1 or 3:7:0
  • Microsoft is going to give us number's and tell us about the first big update to WP8 to WP8.1 more mature OS!
  • I hope Microsoft gets more aggressive with adding new functionality to Windows Phone now that Blackberry released their new OS.
  • Exactly. I'm looking forward to more innovation. I am afraid that Microsoft will grow complacent and will allow WP8 to get stagnant. I'm sure they know what they're doing, though... right? Plus, we need those "essential" apps that some people base their buying decisions on *ahem* instacrap *ahem*.
  • I doubt MS will become complacent. With WP7 each update brought new features and enhancements. WP8 is still only 3 months old from release. I expect some announcements at MWC which will be released Q3. Hopefully Q2 but comparing again to WP7 updates were released a couple quarters after announcements.
  • On this matter, I would be sure WP will be 3rd on first semiannual report. However, that said, second place by the first quarter of 2014... I'll bet on it.
  • Then you'd be willing to do something I wouldn't.  I would L-O-V-E for Windows Phone to be #2 by next year, but I doubt it will happen.  But if the platform can get to 10% of smartphone sales and grow from there then I think we could see a nice, steady upward curve. 
    Though I do think that the iPhone market may be saturated at this point.  I also believe that the more WP8 devices, the more people will see them and desire them.  I would still like MS to get aggressive and hammer the opposing platforms to be stuck in the past with their icons.  So 20th century. 
  • Windows phone 8 should be number one in my opinion hate blackberry the z10 takes forever to turn on it glitches lags etc its no better then android tbh both suck
  • Crude comment.
    But, you have a point.
  • Go windows
  • Go Windows Go!
  • Go Windows Go Windows Go!
    Sorry just wanted to be part of the moment.
  • We get sum braggin rights
  • I don't know if I'd call beating Blackberry before BB10 came out much of an accomplishment, but its a step in the right direction.
  • Yes,, it is very much an accomplishment. The fact that they don't have a device ready, and their market share is low is their current situation. That's like cutting HTC slack because they made some bad moves, and now Samsung runs the show. Remember, you don't get cut slack because your device isn't ready. Remember how they put WP down because it was supposedly late to the market? How it wasn't good enough because it didn't have copy and past?? Not "Having" isn't the argument here its who has the biggest market share. No excuses because WP never got to use any, and nobody does with these things.. It wouldn't matter if WP had more market share than BB by giving all phones away for free,, if the market share is higher than its higher because of the efforts MS, and its partners put forth.. So, actually this is really something to celebrate now that I look at it like that.. Hell, yeah!! Good Job everybody!! I think I just inspired my own damn self!! Lol!!!
    And quit making up excuses.. It is what it is!!
  • I think he's trying to say that the Lumia920 is a bragging right. You know, 'cause it's remarkable camra and the remarkable ability to cause earth quakes when dropped? Yeah, and surviving nuclear wars is a good feature too (and Nokia Drive).
  • I love windows phone, but I wouldn't read to much into this. Its like saying MS overtook a phantom company in q4, BB10 just came out lets check again in q4 this year, if were still in front then that's worth noting
  • If they compared Android and iOS market share to WP/WM MS at the time when WP was released, then why can't we count BB's current stock as valid? This is BB's current stock in the mobile market, and its fair to say that WP stock is higher. Like I said quit making up excuses, and except the fact that WP is growing. And, at the rate WP is growing its going to be hard for BB to catch up as soon as fourth quarter. Its most likely not going to happen... So, sitting and waiting for fourth quarter is stupid. If you're a WP fan then just celebrate the news because this is a first for WP, and could possibly be the last time it ever surpasses any platform if you think about it.
  • Excuses? what excuses?
  • If both could eat away at Apples share and get 10 - 15 percent each, it would be golden
  • Honestly, I'm a fan of both OS. And I'd love WP8 and BB10 to take some more market share from IOS and Android.
  • I personally converted 8 people to wp8 all knocked ( see how I say knocked) the Lumia 920 till they saw mine and all bought 920 ...hey easy sale too cause there buy one get one free ,tax season money to blow and all thought wp8 was the coolest thing since sliced bread.
  • I got my wife to switch to WP8, and given the fact that she liveed on Pintrest and Instagram, thats saying something haha. She loves her WP8 now.
  • I just upgraded from my focus s to a Lumia 920. Wife has an 820. Om happy with WP.
  • BB messed up by making me wait a month for BB10.
  • I hear ya. Wait a year and then" 2 more months" . Not good.
  • Nah... I see Symbian making a huge comeback in 2013... yeah... j/k.
    MS needs to maintain some form of presence in the market.  Be it commercials, or just large stands in stores.  Really radical awesome designs are a plus as well.  I don't really see BB taking much cake.  It just doesn't look that ground breaking, and all those delays seem... kinda pointless at first glance. 
  • Can someone post a link of the security issues of android? I would like to read on that and then piss my friends off who like android so much :)
  • A google search will give you articles from 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 - big years for android malware. See how I asked to google it and not Bing it? Ain't worth it ;)
  • I just want both WP and bb10 to succeed. I don't care who's on top, I want huge growth for both. And if course, at the expense of android and apple.
  • Me too!
  • If WP surpassed BB it probably wasn't by alot. And with the new BB coming out soon the gap might be much at all. We still have alot of work to do.
  • What I want to know is how come the usual tech media (cnet, wsj, verge, etc) have not covered this news at all? Anytime there's a slightest bad data/news about Microsoft, real or manufactored, they usually sworm and attack like hyenas.
  • This is how MS wins. They keep pounding on it relentlessly. They are like a boxer that just won't quit. I think it's beginning to set in people's mind there's an alternative mobile choice and it's going to stay. What makes all this work is the fact that WP is a damn good OS and ecosystem (the best, IMO) despite its weakness which I think will be more or less gone completely by the end of this year.
  • If only WP actually had some useful apps, it would solve so many problems. Just finished reading a GS3 review, can't believe how awesome that phone is. WP needs a major update real soon if they plan to be relevant. Not trolling, just very impressed with the S3. I knew WP wasn't as mature as Android, but I didn't know it was such a large gap between the two!
  • So are you comparing the ecosystem or the device?
    Android's ecosystem has its superiors, but SIII is total crap compared to the L920
  • Android has an ecosystem? :-o
  • hmmm!? maybe android's "ecosystem" definition is: economic but not systematic
  • The S3 device is flat out impressive, WP has a more robust ecosystem but it is totally flawed and disjointed. WP needs to update their devices if it plans to still be around in a few years.
  • well i had the s3 and id argue that its just a bloated android phone with alot of gimmicks that the average person wont even use :\. people get to caught up in ooo it does this and ooohhh it does that, without considering what the average person will do with said phone. Most people dont realize that they wont use 85% of what the s3 is actually capable of so not matter how impressive the phone is it wont make much of a difference in actual day to day use. thats what i feel windows phone does well mixing beauty with practicality while not compromising anything. Does windows phone have flaws, but so does android and ios. why call out a platform if your not going to call them all out on what makes them good and bad.
  • The Z10 won't help BB either, they are charging iPhone/Samsung prices. The Z10 should be $99 at most.
  • I went into my local att shop and the bb bold 9900 is 199.00 with 2 year contract. go figure.
  • Go submit your resume to be a pricing expert at RIM
  • Microsoft needs to tell people what is on the roadmap for Windows phone. It helps keep customers loyal to the platform.
  • Great. Battle of the Basement Dwellers. I'd like to revisit these numbers in three months from now to see if we hold on. It doesn't mean all that much if were are taking BB customers or vice versa, at this point WP and BB are fighting for table scraps.
  • every scrap counts.
  • From what I can tell by reading the forums and browsing reviews, if the z10 doesnt have some glitch fixes or updates soon, it probably won't do so well. Most current BB owners, while possibly unhappy with their device/os being somewhat outdated, are used to BB being rock solid. I am rooting for both BB and WP. I'm not such a fan of Android or iOS, and if it weren't for the apps and a few more quirks in the functionality, I probably wouldn't have chosen to use either. Neither - especially Android - seems to be geared toward the business user. Im not even using a WP8 device (still on a Lumia 900) , and I have the best of both worlds Something that just works for business, and downtime apps, extras for kids, etc... Now if the BB10 can offer both, without slacking on either side (especially BB's current diehard business users) then the odds of success look well. As I said before, I hope both platforms succeed.
  • Windows Phone 8 does' have the Galaxy S3! It was renamed ATIV S with a bigger 2300 mAh battery dedicated camera button and looks better! ...And of course it came out of the box with WP8 Portico OS!
  • WP user looks around, places head in sand.
  • Good for Windows Phone, but what is this report measuring?
    Is it: Windows Phone having sold more phones in the fourth quarter than RIM? or
    Is it Windows Phone now having more active users in the fourth quarter than RIM?
    The article doesn't actually say what is being measured. Think about it this way using a BlackBerry example. Chances are probably good that in Canada this week, the # of BlackBerry 10 devices sold will quite exceed the # of Windows Phone devices sold in Canada this week (marketshare for the week). But that's not the same thing as there being more BlackBerry 10 devices being used in Canada than Windows Phones. Windows Phone has been out longer and will have more active users.
    Is this the IDC style of measurement (% of new phones sold during a set period) or the Comscore style of measurement (% of phones actively being used?)
  • Glad to see "the world police" still see their country as the only market in the world. I guess the marketshare of the other 6 billion people on the planet doesn't matter.
  • Totall opposite of this article..