Windows Phone Shipments Drop But Not All Bad News

The research firm IDC has released their second quarter results for mobile platform sales and its a bit of a mixed bag for Windows Phone.  Overall, compared to the same quarter in 2013, Windows Phone saw overall market share slip from 3.4% to 2.5% with device shipments dropping from 8.2 to 7.4 million in the comparison.  For those who love & support the platform, not exactly a ringing enforcement by fellow mobile device users.  Android remained the dominant player globally, amassing 84.7% of the global market share followed by Apple’s iOS platform at a distant 11.7%.  Still though there are some positives to come out of this report from IDC that should give Windows Phone users some comfort.

So look, we all love Windows Phone but let’s face facts:  It’s the #3 Operating System out there.  A distant #3 at that.  And there are a lot of reasons why the least of which has been a challenged ecosystem around it (although that is improving rapidly) and with the cloudy future between Nokia & Microsoft sorted, things should be improving.  There was another key point that the IDC report brought out and that is around the number of vendors that are out there that sell Windows Phone devices.  Fundamentally it hasn’t

Nokia Lumia 635
Nokia Lumia 635

changed in a year but the 2nd half of 2014 could see a very different landscape.

Windows Phone volumes declined from a year ago, but compared to the previous quarter, it showed slight improvement, making it the clear number 3 smartphone platform. The list of OEM partners has not changed significantly from a year ago, but that could start to change during the second half of 2014 when numerous vendors within key emerging markets come on board, including BLU, Micromax, Prestigio, Yezz, and others. These join Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava, Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, and ZTE.

One of the big advantages Android has is the sheer number of devices in the market place.  Clearly Apple doesn’t have that with iOS and to a lesser extend it is the same for Microsoft and Windows Phone.  Aside from Nokia, there is HTC (limited but maybe making a comeback), Huawei, Samsung… and more Nokia.  That looks to change this year according to IDC which will only help diversify the platform and get it out there at various price points.

It wasn’t a great report for Windows Phone but it wasn’t a throw it all away report either.  Let’s see how this next quarter goes and if the little platform that could makes a comeback in the marketplace.