The latest U.S. smartphone market share numbers are out from comScore Networks this morning, showing Microsoft posting a slight gain in mobile subscribers for the three months ending in May — up one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.0 percent, compared with the three months ending in February.

The result follows the launch of the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone in the U.S. in April.

No, it’s not exactly a blockbuster outcome. Microsoft remains well behind Google, Apple and even struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in the rankings. In addition, compared with Microsoft’s result for the three months ending in April, the 4.0 percent market share for May is unchanged.

However, the trend is better than the regular declines the company had previously been experiencing.

Two years ago, in May 2010, Microsoft was third in the comScore rankings with 13.2 percent market share. Google at that point was fourth, with 13.0 percent market share for Android. Google has since seen that number skyrocket to more than 50 percent of the market, ahead of Apple at 31.9 percent.

Microsoft’s numbers include legacy Windows Mobile users, so the trends aren’t a pure representation of the new Windows Phone OS.

Microsoft last month unveiled Windows Phone 8, the next version, shipping later this year. It won’t be available as an upgrade for existing Windows Phone 7 devices, but the company will offer a separate version, Windows Phone 7.8, with an overhauled home screen similar to Windows Phone 8.

Comments

  • Guest

    Microsoft’s long-term vision for Windows Phone is sound, built on innovation and on a high-quality user experience — something few companies in tech truly understand anymore. We are glad that Microsoft is realizing the gains that it deserves. With Windows Phone 8 coming out later this year, we believe that many customers are eager to join the Windows Phone family with the right device at the right time.

    • guest


      Microsoft’s long-term vision for Windows Phone is sound, built on innovation and on a high-quality user experience — something few companies in tech truly understand anymore.” Really? Then how the heck did Microsoft got itself into its current place in the first place? By innovating? Or by pushed into a corner when just about everyone else around it innovated.

      • guest

        MS completely dropped the ball. But your statement that everyone else around it innovated is false. The record shows that Nokia, RIM, and just about every other major player of the time were also caught napping by Apple. MS’s most recent effort, WP, is actually quite innovative. It’s just too little and probably too late. Android meanwhile is actually quite derivative, but that hasn’t hurt its adoption.

  • Johnny

    Shortly Microsoft will realize this is an unwinnable fight and kill the product, that’s what they did with MSN Music, MSN Direct, Windows Media, Zune, MSN Traffic, Microsoft Money, etc….

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Shortly? Extremely unlikely.

      • Johnny

        I just don’t see how it can win anything more than a niche market amongt the MS fanboys. iOS is the standard, Android is the value alternative, and Blackberry is the dethroned incumbent. There’s no place left for WinPho.

        It took they 5 years to learn that Zune was a dud….we are coming up on 10 years of Windows CE (Phone, Mobile, PPC Phone Edition) and 2 years with Windows Phone 7.

        • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

          Fair enough, and agreed that Microsoft is in an extremely tough spot here. But to say that they will kill Windows Phone ‘shortly’ just isn’t right. Unlike most of those other products, a smartphone OS is viewed by the company as a critical part of its lineup, especially now that they’re making the underlying core common w/Windows 8.

          • Johnny

            OK, I am adding a note to my calendar to check back on this in 24 months. Fortune Telling isn’t an exact science, but I think WiPho is doomed within 24 months.

          • guest

            Agreed, but at the same time, if WP8 stiffs, they’re really in a pickle, and the brand is pretty much spent (in the mobile arena). At that point they almost have to take a step back, take some time off, and then try to re-enter when a competitor mis-steps with a “Surface” for phones re-launch. Surface is their WP “plan b” (or is that plan c?)

        • Guest

          iOS is at 32% market share and sinking. The continuing failure of Apple to deliver innovative iOS products, such as iPhone 5 which is now overdue by a year, continues to weigh on the company’s prospects. iOS’s dated user experience, using a primitive grid of icons, is aging gracelessly. We would prefer that Apple’s CEO spend less of Apple’s money on building Chinese dormitories and on drawing pictures of TV sets and more of it on improving what is quite frankly a fading star in the universe of mobile.

          Android is indeed a “value alternative,” great for the tweakers who want to get the most out of their hardware, but utterly unusable for even a moderately tech-savvy user. I’ve owned two Android phones and I have to reboot even the Ice Cream Sandwich one daily because one bad app can wedge the whole system. All this doesn’t even mention the risk posed by all the rogue Android builds that alpha geeks use to jeopardize both corporate and mobile networks.

          This leaves Windows Phone in a great space to take over where prior leaders like RIM and Apple left off: by delivering engaging new user experiences with more than just grids of icons and CPU-sucking widgets, and by offering a wide range of hardware on which apps will be expected to work uniformly, and by catering to the billions of corporate seats that face a Windows PC today, Windows Phone has all the ingredients necessary to become quite a tasty cake. A “king cake,” if you’ll pardon the expression.

          • Johnny

            News of Apples demise has been greatly exaggerated. You seem very insightful, perhaps even an MS Employee. It is undeniable that Apple IOS is the “gold standard” for mobile. They are the market maker, if they weren’t then Google and MS wouldn’t be trying to bite their work 1-3 years after initial product releases (eg. threaded text, OTA Store, Vertical App Store, Etc). While you can cite % ownership as their swan song, they seem to be amazingly profitable. For being a fading star, they shine brighty.

            You can hate on Android all you want, but folks buy them cause they are the value alternative. They are the Seiko/Citizen to Apples Rolex.

            Make no mistake I love WiPh, but it is so similar to my HTC, Blackjack, Blackjack2, Jack, in that I need to buy ANOTHER phone to get new features, when EVERYONE else seems to be able top bake a robust upgrade process into their platform.

            I think Windows Phone has the ingredients to be a Vegan Bran cake that only people with specific tastes (Fanboys, Employees, Partners) will enjoy.

            Don’t take my word for it. Go to the Mall, have a cup of delicious Starbucks Espresso and watch what phone folks are using.

            Respectfully Yours

          • Guest

            Of course a lot of persons today carry iPhones and Android phones. That’s precisely why Windows Phone shows so much potential. Would you have said, “have a cup of delicious Starbucks Espresso [sic] and watch all the BlackBerry users” when iPhone came out? Just as BlackBerry and iPhone have enjoyed their days in the sun, so to speak, the time has come for a better platform to take their place. We expect that Windows Phone would be that form.

            We are not employees, contractors, nor stockholders of Microsoft.

          • Johnny

            I admire your optimism!

    • guest

      Of course you failed to list the numerous products that MS has stuck by for decades despite in some cases billions of losses and analyst and shareholder pressure to kill them. But I guess that didn’t fit the meme, huh?

      • Johnny

        It’s easy to troll.

        Protip: Next time troll with FACTS and cite specifics.

        • guest

          I guess that explains why you do it.
          Protip: if you need me to provide examples of those, you’re no pro.

          • Johnny

            It must be lonely under that bridge :D

  • Guest

    This the same day that Nokia said it has a “plan b” if WP8 doesn’t deliver the numbers.

    • guest

      What’s your point? What company wouldn’t have a plan b? They’d be irresponsible if they didn’t. That doesn’t make it anything more than a fall back.

      • guest

        The point is that they previously stated unequivocally that they had no plan b. That they were all in. And now they state otherwise. That’s why it’s news and everybody is covering it.

        • guest

          They never stated anything of the kind. They had two options already active and the option of considering Android. It’s being covered today because the media loves to report anything that might be even marginally negative to MS, like claiming last week that HP had given up on WinRT because of Surface, only HP themselves said they made the decision months earlier.

    • Johnny

      I think PlanB is to start selling organs….

  • guest

    “Two years ago, in May 2010, Microsoft was third in the comScore rankings with 13.2 percent market share”
    I love our strategy. The board loves our strategy.
    – Steve Ballmer

  • Steve

    Humorous. This and so many other columns about Apple vs Msft products and their fans’ staunch and intractable beliefs is like columns on politics or religions – no matter the facts offered by either side, the other side will never, ever be open to another viewpoint.

    • Johnny

      I think the fans are following the lead of their respective companies.

  • Bob

    I’d expect those numbers to go negative again now that current gen Wp7X phones have effectively been osborned by WP8’s decision to not back port.

  • http://twitter.com/Veriously Verious, Inc.

    As a “platform agnostic” app component marketplace for developers, we are seeing interest in WindowsPhone components on http://www.Verious.com on par with Apple/iOS components within 2 months after adding WP components to our site. I was at the recent Windows8 preview developer summit in SFO and if MSFT can provide one platform for desktop and mobile, then I think it will be a no-brainer for enterprises already running Windows.

    • Yetter

      Yup, you nailed it. Can’t wait for Win8 to take over the world.

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