may want to dominate the mobile market, or at least become a competitive force, but the latest market share figures underscore just what a daunting task the Redmond outfit faces. In fact, Windows Phone
is moving in the wrong direction -- though worldwide smartphone shipments topped the 300 million mark for the first time in history, Windows Phone volumes declined from a year ago.
On the bright side, Windows Phone volume crawled forward compared to the previous quarter and is now the "clear number 3 smartphone platform" behind Android and iOS, but we're still only talking about a miserable 2.5 percent share of the market versus a 3.4 percent stake in the same quarter a year ago, according to the latest data by International Data Corporation
(IDC). If it's any consolation to Microsoft, Samsung isn't having much better luck with its Tizen platform.
"It's been an incredible upward slog for other OS players – Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5% share mark, while the backing of the world's largest smartphone player, Samsung, has not boosted Tizen into the spotlight," said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play – not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems."
It's really an Android world that we're all living in. Of all the smartphones out there, 84.7 percent of them run Android, well ahead of Apple's 11.7 percent stake with its iPhone family. In that regard, Microsoft can take solace in the fact that only 9.2 percentage points separate it from second place, albeit a distant second behind Android.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry is nearly out of the game. It only holds a 0.5 percent share of the market, with shipment levels a whopping 78 percent lower than they were a year ago. That said, BlackBerry saw some gains within the enterprise community in North America and Europe, and also saw improvement in Asia/Pacific, one of the company's key markets.