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As Android and iPhone hold steady, Windows Phone makes no progress in U.S. smartphone race

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday February 07, 2013.

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Google Android and Apple iOS have traded positions as the top two mobile operating systems for several quarters, leaving Microsoft's Windows Phone and BlackBerry to fight for the scraps. Despite strong sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, Windows Phone made no advancements in its U.S. market share.

Research firm comScore today released its MobiLens report for the quarter ending in December 2012, and it showed that Android and iOS remain far ahead of the competition. Android accounted for 53.4 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S., followed by iOS at 36.3 percent. Both platforms saw modest gains in market share, but Windows Phone 8 actually lost share and earned only 2.9 percent of the market, down from 3.6 percent the previous quarter. Windows Phone finished fourth behind BlackBerry at 6.4 percent.

Is the falling market share cause for alarm? Not really. The drop in market share is not about a lack of interest in Windows Phone 8; it's about an abundance of interest in the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC DROID DNA, and so on. The past two years has made it clear that Windows Phone will not have any impact on either of the top two operating systems, so the health of the platform can't be measured by how it stacks up against the leaders. Even if the Nokia Lumia sells 4.4 million smartphones in the quarter, Android will nearly double those numbers in a week.

Market share comparisons will not be kind to Windows Phone for a long time. As the smartphone population continues to grow, the gains the platform makes in sales will be a smaller percentage because they will be offset by new customers choosing Android or iPhone. Microsoft must surely recognize that it cannot yet compete with the leaders of the smartphone race, so it's more important to work with partners to deliver good products and raise its profile as much as reasonably possible.

source: comScore

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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