Mobile phone makers sold more than 4 million Windows Phones in the third quarter, up from 1.7 million in the same quarter a year ago, according to numbers released earlier today by Gartner.

It represents a slight decline from the second quarter of this year, but that was probably because many potential buyers were waiting for Windows Phone 8.

Not all that bad, until you look at it in the context of Android’s soaring market share.

GeekWire compiled Gartner’s stats for the past two years into the chart above, and you can see how Google’s smartphone operating system is running away with the market, dwarfing the rest of the field with unit sales of more than 122 million in the third quarter. Expressed as market share, Android went from 52.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to more than 72 percent in the recent quarter.

Hey, at least Windows Phone has Gwen Stefani and Jessica Alba! These ads start airing tonight.

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  • Guest

    Wow! As those twenty-four million iPhones reach end of life next year, Windows Phone is poised to pick up literally tons of market share. At the same time, I find it embarrassing that the company that invented the modern smartphone now sells fewer than 1 in 5 of them.

    • guest

      MS is more likely to pick up share in developing countries where price is paramount, carriers don’t subsidize the cost, and people aren’t as infatuated with Apple. But they still have to overcome the Android bias.

    • storm14k

      IBM is selling smartphones again?

  • guest

    Yeah, the WP result isn’t terrible, at least all things considered. And the use of celebrities to promote WP8 is a good move. What celebrities think/wear/do matters to a lot of people.The OS is terrific. Now they need to have people see it as a legitimate choice. But Android is running away with the market overall. I guess OEMs are prepared to eat the legal costs in return for a chance at that kind of growth Everyone knows MS’s challenge breaking back in after the WM failure. But I’m surprised more concern isn’t being raised about how much share Apple has lost in just the past year. This is like history repeating, only this time with Android playing the role of Windows.

  • storm14k

    Thank you Geekwire. This puts to rest the constant claim from Apple fans that its just people waiting on the iPhone 5. Its like they claim year round that sales are down because people are waiting on the next iPhone.

    • guest

      Android shill, who still controls the lion’s share of smartphone profitability?

      • Guest

        Android, of course. Riches tend to buy iPhones and spend more per capita, but the sheer number of Android-owning poors is responsible for a larger quantity of money.

      • storm14k

        Why does profitability concern me? Not that Apple will hold on to that either. As a developer wanting to get services in hands I’m going to look at share where 50% of all app downloads happen on Android to Apples I think 20%. As a consumer I might want a device that shares the same ecosystem as the majority of the other people I might meet while having a choice of hardware and experience. That’s obviously Android there. Only time I’m going to look at profitability is if I’m an investor. And if I’m investing I’m looking at iPhones no longer being the hot item and falling to the level of Macs. Mac could not produce the profits of the iPhone even with high margins. It takes volume. So as an investor I’d realize that the profit in Android is spread out over many players but with it coming to dominate the market I better be looking for the places to stick my money around the ecosystem where there will be gains in value. In other words no more free ride on Apple stock skyrocketing predictably. It was nice while it lasted but all things come to an end. That goes for Android as well. It just won’t we Apple that does it like many fanboys thought.

  • Aaron Evans

    Samsung has LeBron James

  • Ewuare

    I assume these numbers are from activations. Has anyone actually looked at where these activations are coming from. I have a cheap no brand China made Android phone that take 2 SIM cards that I use when I travel. I wouldn’t use this as my primary phone. Apps suck on it and Skype refuses to install on it. Makes me wonder if these numbers are Apples to Apples comparisons (pardon the pun :-) ).

    “There 3 types of lies; lies, damn lies, and statistics”. Hope that’s not the case here.

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